adj. worse (wûrs), worst (wûrst)
1. Not healthy; sick: I began to feel ill last week.
2. Not normal; unsound: an ill condition of body and mind.
3. Resulting in suffering; harmful or distressing: the ill effects of a misconceived policy.
a. Resulting from or suggestive of evil intentions: ill deeds committed out of spite.
b. Ascribing an objectionable quality: holds an ill view of that political group.
c. Hostile or unfriendly: ill feeling between rivals.
d. Harmful; pernicious: the ill effects of a misconceived policy.
5. Not favorable; unpropitious: ill predictions.
6. Not measuring up to recognized standards of excellence, as of behavior or conduct: ill manners.
7. Slang Excellent; outstanding: Your new car is really ill!
adv. worse, worst
1. In a bad, inadequate, or improper way. Often used in combination: My words were ill-chosen.
2. In an unfavorable way; unpropitiously: a statistic that bodes ill for job growth.
3. Scarcely or with difficulty: We can ill afford another mistake.
1. Evil, wrongdoing, or harm: the ill that befell the townspeople.
2. Something that causes suffering; trouble: the social ills of urban life.
3. Something that reflects in an unfavorable way on one: Please don't speak ill of me when I'm gone.
4. (used with a pl. verb) Sick people considered as a group. Often used with the.
ill at ease
Anxious or unsure; uneasy: The stranger made me feel ill at ease.
[Middle English, from Old Norse īllr, bad.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.