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bad - definition and synonyms

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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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adjective     bad pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    not pleasant or enjoyable

    The weather was really bad – it rained all week.

    She was feeling stressed after a bad day at work.

    I’m afraid I have some bad news for you.

    a bad dream

    For people living alone, Christmas is often the worst time of the year.

  2. 2
    likely to cause major problems

    Police used tear gas, but that just made the situation worse.

    It was the worst scandal of the Clinton presidency.

    go from bad to worse:

    In the second half of the game, things went from bad to worse.

    1. a.
      likely to harm your health or your body

      a bad diet

      bad for:

      Too much salt can be bad for your heart.

    2. b.
      likely to damage your success or people’s opinion of you

      The show got a really bad review in the Sunday paper.

      bad for:

      They are trying to develop tourism, but high crime rates are bad for business.

  3. 3
    of very low quality

    one of this year’s worst films

    The show was so bad they took it off after two episodes.

    1. a.
      not at all skilful
      bad at (doing) something:

      I’m really bad at remembering people’s names.

  4. 4
    not appropriate or convenient

    a bad decision

    You’ve been given bad advice.

    I can come back later if this is a bad time for you.

    1. a.
      not fair, acceptable, or reasonable

      a bad way to treat your customers

      It’s bad that you have to wait so long for an appointment.

      Synonyms and related words
  5. 5
    used about a part of your body that is causing you pain or is not working well

    a bad back/leg/stomach

    You shouldn’t try these exercises if you have a bad heart.

  6. 6
    behaving in a cruel, evil, or criminal way

    He’s not a bad man, just very weak.

    Synonyms and related words
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      used about children who do not behave well or obey adults
  7. 7
    no longer fresh or good to eat or drink

    This milk smells bad.

    go bad:

    It will go bad if you don’t put it in the refrigerator.

  8. 8
    spoken good. This word is used mainly by young people.
  9. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    be taken bad to become sick

    My mom is taken bad this morning.

    Submitted by Caleb Judy from United States on 17/11/2015
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a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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