worse, worst

worse, worst
Worse is the comparative of bad; worst is the superlative. The phrase "if worst comes to worst" is illogical, but that's the way it should be said, provided one wishes to use such a hackneyed expression at all. Informal, slangy, or trite expressions to avoid include "worse and worse," "in the worst way," "get the worst of it," and "at the worst." In the sense of "more," worse is not fully accepted; nor is worst in the sense of "most." Avoid such statements as "I dislike insects worse than I do snakes." "Worst kind" and "in the worst way" are slang for "much" and "very much." "She would like to aid you in the worst way" is ambiguous. If you revise the statement to "She would like the worst way to aid you," you may have added suspicion of immorality to plain confusion.

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

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  • worse — See worse, worst …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • worst — See worse, worst …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • 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

  • Worse — Worse, v. t. [OE. wursien, AS. wyrsian to become worse.] To make worse; to put disadvantage; to discomfit; to worst. See {Worst}, v. [1913 Webster] Weapons more violent, when next we meet, May serve to better us and worse our foes. Milton. [1913… …   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

  • Worse — Worse, a., compar. of {Bad}. [OE. werse, worse, wurse, AS. wiersa, wyrsa, a comparative with no corresponding positive; akin to OS. wirsa, OFries. wirra, OHG. wirsiro, Icel. verri, Sw. v[ a]rre, Dan. v[ a]rre, Goth. wa[ i]rsiza, and probably to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 — 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

  • worse — 1 adjective 1 (the comparative of bad) not as good as someone or something else, or more unpleasant or of a lower standard: The meal couldn t have been much worse. | worse than: The weather was worse than last year. | there s nothing worse than… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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