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worse (wûrs)
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adj. Comparative of bad1, ill.
1. More inferior, as in quality, condition, or effect: This restaurant is worse than the one that used to be here.
2. More severe or unfavorable: The weather suddenly got worse.
3. Being further from a standard; less desirable or satisfactory.
4. Being in poorer health; more ill: I felt worse after eating that pizza.
n.
Something that is worse: Of the two routes, the eastern one is the worse. She was accused of cheating on exams, lying, and worse.
adv. Comparative of badly, ill.
In a worse manner; to a worse degree.
Idiom:
for better or (for) worse
Whether the situation or consequences be good or ill: For better or worse, he trusts everyone.

[Middle English, from Old English wyrsa; see wers- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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