Synonyms for bad

Grammar : Adj
Spell : bad
Phonetic Transcription : bæd

Top 10 synonyms for bad Other synonyms for the word bad

Définition of bad

Origin :
  • 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."
  • adj poor quality
  • adj harmful
  • adj immoral
  • adj mischievous
  • adj decayed
  • adj severe
  • adj sick
  • adj sorry
  • adj distressing
Example sentences :
  • If the West stopped producin' men fur you, you'd be as bad off as if it stopped producin' food.
  • Extract from : « The Spenders » by Harry Leon Wilson
  • "That's bad," said the station-master, in a tone of sympathy.
  • Extract from : « Brave and Bold » by Horatio Alger
  • Then all I can say is, that when you lose it you'll be in a bad pickle.
  • Extract from : « Brave and Bold » by Horatio Alger
  • I couldn't begin to tell you all the bad things he did when he was a boy.
  • Extract from : « Brave and Bold » by Horatio Alger
  • Too bad, though—you certainly need a wife to take the conceit out of you.
  • Extract from : « The Spenders » by Harry Leon Wilson
  • "Too bad she ain't got a few more millions," said Uncle Peter, ruminantly.
  • Extract from : « The Spenders » by Harry Leon Wilson
  • But I've known every bad place in it, and I've religiously put in your "Come, come, child!"
  • Extract from : « The Spenders » by Harry Leon Wilson
  • And that poor little Florence Akemit, isn't it too bad about her.
  • Extract from : « The Spenders » by Harry Leon Wilson
  • I'm afraid of myself, even in spite of our affairs being so bad.
  • Extract from : « The Spenders » by Harry Leon Wilson
  • I was glad to meet the party again, although we were in a bad position.
  • Extract from : « Explorations in Australia » by John Forrest

Antonyms for bad

Based on : - - - Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019