I. adjective, superlative of bad or of ill Etymology: Middle English werste, worste, from Old English wierresta, wyrsta, superlative of the root of Old English wiersa worse Date: before 12th century 1. most corrupt, bad, evil, or ill <
his worst fault
2. a. most unfavorable, difficult, unpleasant, or painful <
the worst news
your worst enemy
b. most unsuitable, faulty, unattractive, or ill-conceived <
has the worst table manners
c. least skillful or efficient <
the worst person for the job
3. most wanting in quality, value, or condition <
the worst results
II. adverb, superlative of ill or illy or of bad or badly Date: before 12th century 1. to the extreme degree of badness or inferiority <
the worst dressed person
2. to the greatest or highest degree <
groups who need the subsidies worst lose out — T. W. Arnold
III. noun (plural worst) Date: 13th century one that is worst IV. transitive verb Date: 1636 to get the better of ; defeat

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • worst — [wʉrst] adj. [ME worste < OE wyrsta, wierresta < base of wiersa,WORSE + st, superl. suffix] 1. superl. of BAD1 & ILL1 2. a) bad, evil, harmful, unpleasant, etc. in the highest degree; least good …   English World dictionary

  • worst — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ most bad, severe, or serious. ► ADVERB 1) most severely or seriously. 2) least well. ► NOUN ▪ the worst part, event, or circumstance. ► VERB ▪ get the better of …   English terms dictionary

  • Worst — Worst, n. That which is most bad or evil; the most severe, pernicious, calamitous, or wicked state or degree. [1913 Webster] The worst is not So long as we can say, This is the worst. Shak. [1913 Webster] He is always sure of finding diversion… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Worst — Worst, a., superl. of {Bad}. [OE. werst, worste, wurste, AS. wyrst, wierst, wierrest. See {Worse}, a.] Bad, evil, or pernicious, in the highest degree, whether in a physical or moral sense. See {Worse}. Heard so oft in worst extremes. Milton.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • worst — The idiom if the worst comes to the worst has been standard in BrE since the late 16c. In AmE it usually occurs in the form if worst comes to worst …   Modern English usage

  • Worst — Worst, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Worsted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Worsting}.] [See {Worse}, v. t. & a.] To gain advantage over, in contest or competition; to get the better of; to defeat; to overthrow; to discomfit. [1913 Webster] The . . . Philistines were …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Worst — Worst, v. i. To grow worse; to deteriorate. [R.] Every face . . . worsting. Jane Austen. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • worst — index dire, subdue, subject, upset Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • worst — superlative of ILL …   Medical dictionary

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