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not good in any manner or degree.
having a wicked or evil character; morally reprehensible:
There is no such thing as a bad boy.
of poor or inferior quality; defective; deficient:
a bad diamond; a bad spark plug.
inadequate or below standard; not satisfactory for use:
bad heating; Living conditions in some areas are very bad.
inaccurate, incorrect, or faulty:
a bad guess.
invalid, unsound, or false:
a bad insurance claim; bad judgment.
causing or liable to cause sickness or ill health; injurious or harmful:
Too much sugar is bad for your teeth.
suffering from sickness, ill health, pain, or injury; sick; ill:
He felt bad from eating the green apples.
not healthy or in good physical condition; diseased, decayed, or physically weakened:
A bad heart kept him out of the army.
tainted, spoiled, or rotten, especially to the point of being inedible:
The meat is bad because you left it out of the refrigerator too long.
having a disastrous or detrimental effect, result, or tendency; unfavorable:
The drought is bad for the farmers. His sloppy appearance made a bad impression.
causing or characterized by discomfort, inconvenience, uneasiness, or annoyance; disagreeable; unpleasant:
I had a bad flight to Chicago.
easily provoked to anger; irascible:
a bad temper.
cross, irritable, or surly:
If I don’t have my morning coffee, I’m in a bad mood all day.
more uncomfortable, persistent, painful, or dangerous than usual; severe:
a bad attack of asthma.
causing or resulting in disaster or severe damage or destruction:
a bad flood.
regretful, contrite, dejected, or upset:
He felt bad about having to leave the children all alone.
disobedient, naughty, or misbehaving:
If you’re bad at school, you’ll go to bed without supper.
disreputable or dishonorable:
He’s getting a bad name from changing jobs so often.
displaying a lack of skill, talent, proficiency, or judgment:
a bad painting; Bad drivers cause most of the accidents.
causing distress; unfortunate or unfavorable:
I’m afraid I have bad news for you.
not suitable or appropriate; disadvantageous or dangerous:
It was a bad day for fishing.
inclement; considered too stormy, hot, cold, etc.:
We had a bad winter with a lot of snow.
disagreeable or offensive to the senses:
a bad odor.
exhibiting a lack of artistic sensitivity:
The room was decorated in bad taste.
not in keeping with a standard of behavior or conduct; coarse:
bad manners.

vulgar, obscene, or blasphemous:
bad language.
not properly observing rules or customs of grammar, usage, spelling, etc.; incorrect:
He speaks bad English.

unattractive, especially because of a lack of pleasing proportions:
She has a bad figure.
(of the complexion) marred by defects; pockmarked or pimply; blemished:
bad skin.
not profitable or worth the price paid:
The land was a bad buy.
Commerce. deemed uncollectible or irrecoverable and treated as a loss:
a bad debt.
ill-spent; wasted:
Don’t throw good money after bad money.
counterfeit; not genuine:
There was a bad ten-dollar bill in with the change.
having the character of a villain; villainous:
In the movies the good guys always beat the bad guys.
Sports. failing to land within the in-bounds limits of a court or section of a court; missing the mark; not well aimed.
Slang. outstandingly excellent; first-rate:
He’s a bad man on drums, and the fans love him.
that which is bad:
You have to take the bad with the good.
a bad condition, character, or quality:
His health seemed to go from bad to worse.
(used with a plural verb) evil persons collectively (usually preceded by the):
The bad are always stirring up trouble.
He wanted it bad enough to steal it.
bad off, in poor or distressed condition or circumstances; destitute:
His family has been pretty bad off since he lost his job.
Also, badly off.
Compare well-off.
go to the bad, to deteriorate physically or morally; go to ruin:
She wept at seeing her son go to the bad.
in a bad way, in severe trouble or distress.
in bad, Informal.

in trouble or distress.
in disfavor:
He’s in bad with his father-in-law.

my bad, Slang. my fault! my mistake!
not bad,

tolerably good; not without merit:
The dinner wasn’t bad, but I’ve had better.
not difficult:
Once you know geometry, trigonometry isn’t bad.

Also, not so bad, not too bad.
too bad, unfortunate or disappointing:
It’s too bad that he didn’t go to college.
to the bad, in arrears:
He’s $100 to the bad on his debt.
a simple past tense of bid1 .
to command; order; direct:
to bid them depart.
to express (a greeting, farewell, benediction, or wish):
to bid good night.
Commerce. to offer (a certain sum) as the price one will pay or charge:
They bid $25,000 and got the contract.
Cards. to enter a bid of (a given quantity or suit):
to bid two no-trump.
to summon by invitation; invite.
to command; order; direct:
I will do as you bid.
to make a bid:
She bid at the auction for the old chair.
an act or instance of bidding.

an offer to make a specified number of points or to take a specified number of tricks.
the amount of such an offer.
the turn of a person to bid.

an invitation:
a bid to join the club.
an attempt to attain some goal or purpose:
a bid for election.
Also called bid price. Stock Exchange. the highest price a prospective buyer is willing to pay for a security at a given moment.
bid in, Commerce. to overbid all offers for (property) at an auction in order to retain ownership.
bid up, Commerce. to increase the market price of by increasing bids.
bid fair. fair1 (def 29).
past participle of bide.
Contemporary Examples

It certainly helped, he said, that the suspect was a bad shot.
California School Shooter Had a ‘Hit List’ Christine Pelisek January 11, 2013

In the hierarchy of Things That Are bad, rockets and bombs flying/being flown across borders is right near the top.
Meanwhile, On The West Bank… Emily L. Hauser November 26, 2012

Will Democrats ever realize that increased immigration is not only bad policy, but a political loser as well?
Didn’t Obama Hear Oregon’s Warning Shot on Immigration? Doug McIntyre November 13, 2014

The viewfinder could be popped off so I could hold it low and compose a photo at waist level if the situation got bad.
Ted Soqui Photos: L.A. Riots, Then & Now Ted Soqui April 26, 2012

“It has helped with the bloating,” Williford says, which had gotten so bad she says she sometimes looked several months pregnant.
Could Eating Charcoal Help You Detox? DailyBurn September 19, 2014

Historical Examples

“You’re almost as bad as Mr. Torbert, father,” said Miss Maddledock.
Tin-Types Taken in the Streets of New York Lemuel Ely Quigg

“Too bad she ain’t got a few more millions,” said Uncle Peter, ruminantly.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

Now that the burning of the ginger had worn off, he was as bad as ever.
Pluck on the Long Trail Edwin L. Sabin

If the West stopped producin’ men fur you, you’d be as bad off as if it stopped producin’ food.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

It is a bad end for thee, Eric: to be choked in snow, and with all thy deeds to do.
Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard

adjective worse, worst
not good; of poor quality; inadequate; inferior: bad workmanship, bad soil, bad light for reading
(often foll by at) lacking skill or talent; incompetent: a bad painter, bad at sports
(often foll by for) harmful: bad air, smoking is bad for you
immoral; evil: a bad life
naughty; mischievous; disobedient: a bad child
rotten; decayed; spoiled: a bad egg
severe; intense: a bad headache
incorrect; wrong; faulty: bad pronunciation
ill or in pain (esp in the phrase feel bad)
regretful, sorry, or upset (esp in the phrase feel bad about)
unfavourable; distressing: bad news, a bad business
offensive; unpleasant; disagreeable: bad language, bad temper
not valid or sound; void: a bad cheque
not recoverable: a bad debt
(slang) badder, baddest. good; excellent
go from bad to worse, to deteriorate even more
go bad, to putrefy; spoil
(informal) in a bad way

seriously ill, through sickness or injury
in trouble of any kind

in someone’s bad books, See book (sense 21)
make the best of a bad job, to manage as well as possible in unfavourable circumstances
(informal) not bad, not so bad, passable; fair; fairly good
(informal) not half bad, very good
(informal) too bad, (often used dismissively) regrettable
unfortunate or unpleasant events collectively (often in the phrase take the bad with the good)
an immoral or degenerate state (often in the phrase go to the bad)
the debit side of an account: £200 to the bad
(US & Canadian, informal) my bad, my fault or mistake
(not standard) badly: to want something bad
a variant of bade
verb bids, bidding, bad, bade, (esp for senses 1, 2, 5, 7) bid, bidden, (esp for senses 1, 2, 5, 7) bid
often foll by for or against. to offer (an amount) in attempting to buy something, esp in competition with others as at an auction
(commerce) to respond to an offer by a seller by stating (the more favourable terms) on which one is willing to make a purchase
(transitive) to say (a greeting, blessing, etc): to bid farewell
to order; command: do as you are bid!
(intransitive) usually foll by for. to attempt to attain power, etc
(transitive) to invite; ask kindly: she bade him sit down
(bridge) to declare in the auction before play how many tricks one expects to make
bid defiance, to resist boldly
bid fair, to seem probable

an offer of a specified amount, as at an auction
the price offered


a statement by a buyer, in response to an offer by a seller, of the more favourable terms that would be acceptable
the price or other terms so stated

an attempt, esp an attempt to attain power

the number of tricks a player undertakes to make
a player’s turn to make a bid

short for bid price

c.1200, “inferior in quality;” early 13c., “wicked, evil, vicious,” a mystery word with no apparent relatives in other languages.* Possibly from Old English derogatory term bæddel and its diminutive bædling “effeminate man, hermaphrodite, pederast,” probably related to bædan “to defile.” A rare word before 1400, and evil was more common in this sense until c.1700. Meaning “uncomfortable, sorry” is 1839, American English colloquial.

Comparable words in the other Indo-European languages tend to have grown from descriptions of specific qualities, such as “ugly,” “defective,” “weak,” “faithless,” “impudent,” “crooked,” “filthy” (e.g. Greek kakos, probably from the word for “excrement;” Russian plochoj, related to Old Church Slavonic plachu “wavering, timid;” Persian gast, Old Persian gasta-, related to gand “stench;” German schlecht, originally “level, straight, smooth,” whence “simple, ordinary,” then “bad”).

Comparative and superlative forms badder, baddest were common 14c.-18c. and used as recently as Defoe (but not by Shakespeare), but yielded to comparative worse and superlative worst (which had belonged to evil and ill).

As a noun, late 14c., “evil, wickedness.” In U.S. place names, sometimes translating native terms meaning “supernaturally dangerous.” Ironic use as a word of approval is said to be at least since 1890s orally, originally in Black English, emerging in print 1928 in a jazz context. It might have emerged from the ambivalence of expressions like bad nigger, used as a term of reproach by whites, but among blacks sometimes representing one who stood up to injustice, but in the U.S. West bad man also had a certain ambivalence:

These are the men who do most of the killing in frontier communities, yet it is a noteworthy fact that the men who are killed generally deserve their fate. [Farmer & Henley]

*Farsi has bad in more or less the same sense as the English word, but this is regarded by linguists as a coincidence. The forms of the words diverge as they are traced back in time (Farsi bad comes from Middle Persian vat), and such accidental convergences exist across many languages, given the vast number of words in each and the limited range of sounds humans can make to signify them. Among other coincidental matches with English are Korean mani “many,” Chinese pei “pay,” Nahuatl (Aztecan) huel “well,” Maya hol “hole.”


probably a merger of two old words: The sense in bid farewell is from Old English biddan “to ask, entreat, pray, beseech; order; beg” (class V strong verb, past tense bæd, past participle beden), from Proto-Germanic *bidjan “to pray, entreat” (cf. German bitten “to ask,” attested from 8c.), which, according to Kluge and Watkins is from a PIE root *gwhedh- “to ask, pray” (see bead (n.)).

To bid at an auction, meanwhile, is from Old English beodan “offer, proclaim” (class II strong verb; past tense bead, p.p. boden), from Proto-Germanic *biudanan “to stretch out, reach out, offer, present,” (cf. German bieten “to offer”), from PIE root *bh(e)udh- “to be aware, make aware” (cf. Sanskrit bodhati “is awake, is watchful, observes,” buddhah “awakened, enlightened;” Old Church Slavonic bljudo “to observe;” Lithuanian budeti “to be awake;” Old Irish buide “contentment, thanks”). As a noun, 1788, from the verb.


Good; excellent; admirable: real bad licks/ bad man on drums •The use is attested from slavery times, when this sense was marked by a lengthened vowel and a falling tone in pronunciation (1920s+ esp black teenagers)

Related Terms

so bad one can taste it

/B-A-D/ Broken As Designed, a play on “working as designed”, from IBM. Failing because of bad design and misfeatures rather than because of bugs.
[Jargon File]
French Banque africaine de développement (African Development Bank)
Bachelor of Industrial Design
Spanish Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (Inter-American Development Bank)
buoyancy induced dispersion

bad blood
bad egg
bad hair day
bad luck
bad mouth
bad name
bad news
bad off
bad sort, a
bad taste
bad time
bad trip


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