What does bad mean?

Definitions for bad

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word bad.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bad, badnessadjective

    that which is below standard or expectations as of ethics or decency

    "take the bad with the good"

  2. badadjective

    having undesirable or negative qualities

    "a bad report card"; "his sloppy appearance made a bad impression"; "a bad little boy"; "clothes in bad shape"; "a bad cut"; "bad luck"; "the news was very bad"; "the reviews were bad"; "the pay is bad"; "it was a bad light for reading"; "the movie was a bad choice"

  3. bad, bigadjective

    very intense

    "a bad headache"; "in a big rage"; "had a big (or bad) shock"; "a bad earthquake"; "a bad storm"

  4. bad, toughadjective

    feeling physical discomfort or pain (`tough' is occasionally used colloquially for `bad')

    "my throat feels bad"; "she felt bad all over"; "he was feeling tough after a restless night"

  5. bad, spoiled, spoiltadjective

    (of foodstuffs) not in an edible or usable condition

    "bad meat"; "a refrigerator full of spoilt food"

  6. regretful, sorry, badadjective

    feeling or expressing regret or sorrow or a sense of loss over something done or undone

    "felt regretful over his vanished youth"; "regretful over mistakes she had made"; "he felt bad about breaking the vase"

  7. bad, uncollectibleadjective

    not capable of being collected

    "a bad (or uncollectible) debt"

  8. badadjective

    below average in quality or performance

    "a bad chess player"; "a bad recital"

  9. badadjective


    "so-called bad grammar"

  10. bad, risky, high-risk, speculativeadjective

    not financially safe or secure

    "a bad investment"; "high risk investments"; "anything that promises to pay too much can't help being risky"; "speculative business enterprises"

  11. bad, unfit, unsoundadjective

    physically unsound or diseased

    "has a bad back"; "a bad heart"; "bad teeth"; "an unsound limb"; "unsound teeth"

  12. badadjective

    capable of harming

    "bad air"; "smoking is bad for you"

  13. badadjective

    characterized by wickedness or immorality

    "led a very bad life"

  14. bad, forgedadjective

    reproduced fraudulently

    "like a bad penny..."; "a forged twenty dollar bill"

  15. bad, defectiveadverb

    not working properly

    "a bad telephone connection"; "a defective appliance"

  16. badly, badadverb

    with great intensity (`bad' is a nonstandard variant for `badly')

    "the injury hurt badly"; "the buildings were badly shaken"; "it hurts bad"; "we need water bad"

  17. badly, badadverb

    very much; strongly

    "I wanted it badly enough to work hard for it"; "the cables had sagged badly"; "they were badly in need of help"; "he wants a bicycle so bad he can taste it"


  1. badverb

    To shell (a walnut).

  2. Etymology: Probably identical to bad, etymology 1, above, especially in the sense "bold, daring".

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Bad, Badethe preterite of bid.

    And, for an earnest of greater honour,
    He bad me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawder. Macb.

  2. BADadjective

    compar. worse; superl. worst.

    Etymology: quaad, Dutch;

    Most men have politicks enough to make, through violence, the best scheme of government a bad one. Alexander Pope.

    Thou may’st repent,
    And one bad act, with many deeds well done,
    May’st cover. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. xi. l. 256.

    Thus will the latter, as the former, world
    Still tend from bad to worse. John Milton, Parad. Lost, b. xii.

    Our unhappy fates
    Mix thee amongst the bad, or make thee run
    Too near the paths, which virtue bids thee shun. Matthew Prior.

    The sun his annual course obliquely made,
    Good days contracted, and enlarg’d the bad. Dryden.

    Reading was bad for his eyes, writing made his head ake. Add.


  1. Bad

    Bad Girl is a song by American singer and songwriter Madonna, recorded for her fifth studio album, Erotica (1992). The song was written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone and Anthony Shimkin, and produced by Madonna and Pettibone. The song was released as the third single from the album on February 2, 1993 by Maverick Records. Lyrically, the song describes a woman that is unhappy with her life because she believes she is behaving badly, due to the sadness that has overwhelmed her since the end of a romantic relationship. "Bad Girl" received positive reviews from music critics, who described it as riveting and tragic, while also applauding the sophistication and overall message of the song. The song was a modest success on the charts, reaching number 36 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number ten on the UK Singles Chart, falling off the chart shortly after. The music video to accompany the single was directed by David Fincher, who had previously collaborated on Madonna's "Express Yourself", "Oh Father" and "Vogue" videos. The clip features Madonna playing a high-powered Manhattan executive who has many one-night stands with a variety of men—ultimately being murdered by one of these men at the end of the video. The video features the American actor Christopher Walken, who plays Madonna's guardian angel.


  1. bad

    The term "bad" generally refers to something of poor quality, low standard, or not meeting expectations. It can be used to describe a variety of negative characteristics, behaviors, or outcomes. The perception of what is considered "bad" can be subjective and vary depending on the context and personal opinion.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Bad


  2. Bad

    wanting good qualities, whether physical or moral; injurious, hurtful, inconvenient, offensive, painful, unfavorable, or defective, either physically or morally; evil; vicious; wicked; -- the opposite of good; as, a bad man; bad conduct; bad habits; bad soil; bad health; bad crop; bad news

  3. Bad

    of Bid

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Bad

    bad, adj. ill or evil: wicked: hurtful: incorrect, faulty: unfavourable: painful:—comp. Worse; superl. Worst.—adj. Bad′dish, somewhat bad: not very good.—adv. Bad′ly.—ns. Bad′ness.—Bad blood, angry feeling; Bad coin, false coin; Bad debts, debts that cannot be recovered; Bad shot, a wrong guess.—To go bad, to decay; To go to the bad, to go to ruin; To the bad, to a bad condition: in deficit.—With bad grace, unwillingly. [Ety. very obscure. The M. E. badde is referred by Zupitza to A.S. bæddel, a hermaphrodite, bædling, an effeminate fellow.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. BAD

    [IBM: acronym, “Broken As Designed”] Said of a program that is bogus because of bad design and misfeatures rather than because of bugginess. See working as designed.

Suggested Resources

  1. BAD

    What does BAD stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the BAD acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'bad' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #765

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'bad' in Written Corpus Frequency: #325

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'bad' in Adjectives Frequency: #31

How to pronounce bad?

How to say bad in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of bad in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of bad in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of bad in a Sentence

  1. Dejan Stojanovic:

    Trying too hard to be too good, even when trying to be bad, is too good for the bad, too bad for the good.

  2. Borut Pahor:

    It is bad news, it is bad news for this Council, it is bad news I think for the United Nations. It is bad news, I think for the United States, it is bad news for everybody who cares about human rights.

  3. Scott Walker:

    I think it's that bad of a deal, it's a bad deal for us, it's a bad deal for Israel, it's a bad deal for the region, it's not just the starting gun, it will accelerate the nuclear arms race, and it is empowering Iran to do what they're going to do.

  4. B L O'Hare:

    Bad things do't happen to Bad people. Bad things happen to Good people to make yhem Great people.

  5. Graham Norton:

    Some of them have been really bad, i had n’t thought them through. The topknot was n’t too bad but the cornbraids were a bad decision.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for bad

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"bad." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/bad>.

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    an utterance expressing pain or disapproval
    • A. jeopardize
    • B. moan
    • C. refine
    • D. carry

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