Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Worse adjective , compar. of Bad . [ Middle English werse , worse , wurse , Anglo-Saxon wiersa , wyrsa , a comparative with no corresponding positive; akin to Old Saxon wirsa , OFries. wirra , Old High German wirsiro , Icelandic verri , Swedish värre , Danish värre , Goth. waírsiza , and probably to Old High German werran to bring into confusion, English war , and Latin verrere to sweep, sweep along. As bad has no comparative and superlative, worse and worst are used in lieu of them, although etymologically they have no relation to bad .] Bad, ill, evil, or corrupt, in a greater degree; more bad or evil; less good; specifically, in poorer health; more sick; -- used both in a physical and moral sense.

Or worse , if men worse can devise.
Chaucer.

[ She] was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse .
Mark v. 26.

Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse .
2 Tim. iii. 13.

There are men who seem to believe they are not bad while another can be found worse .
Rambler.

"But I love him." "Love him? Worse and worse ."
Gay.

Worse noun
1. Loss; disadvantage; defeat. "Judah was put to the worse before Israel." Kings xiv. 12.

2. That which is worse; something less good; as, think not the worse of him for his enterprise.

Worse adverb [ Anglo-Saxon wiers , wyrs ; akin to Old Saxon & Old High German wirs , Icelandic verr , Goth, waírs ; a comparative adverb with no corresponding positive. See Worse , adjective ] In a worse degree; in a manner more evil or bad.

Now will we deal worse with thee than with them.
Gen. xix. 9.

Worse transitive verb [ Middle English wursien , Anglo-Saxon wyrsian to become worse.] To make worse; to put disadvantage; to discomfit; to worst. See Worst , v.

Weapons more violent, when next we meet,
May serve to better us and worse our foes.
Milton.

Worsen transitive verb
1. To make worse; to deteriorate; to impair.

It is apparent that, in the particular point of which we have been conversing, their condition is greatly worsened .
Southey.

2. To get the better of; to worst. [ R.]

Worsen intransitive verb To grow or become worse. De Quincey.

Indifferent health, which seemed rather to worsen than improve.
Carlyle.

Worser adjective Worse. [ R.]

Thou dost deserve a worser end.
Beau. & Fl.

From worser thoughts which make me do amiss.
Bunyan.

A dreadful quiet felt, and, worser far
Than arms, a sullen interval of war.
Dryden.

» This old and redundant form of the comparative occurs occasionally in the best authors, although commonly accounted a vulgarism. It has, at least, the analogy of lesser to sanction its issue. See Lesser . "The experience of man's worser nature, which intercourse with ill-chosen associates, by choice or circumstance, peculiarly teaches." Hallam.

Worship noun [ Middle English worshipe , wurðscipe , Anglo-Saxon weorðscipe ; weorð worth + -scipe -ship. See Worth , adjective , and - ship .]


1. Excellence of character; dignity; worth; worthiness. [ Obsolete] Shak.

A man of worship and honour.
Chaucer.

Elfin, born of noble state,
And muckle worship in his native land.
Spenser.

2. Honor; respect; civil deference. [ Obsolete]

Of which great worth and worship may be won.
Spenser.

Then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
Luke xiv. 10.

3. Hence, a title of honor, used in addresses to certain magistrates and others of rank or station.

My father desires your worships' company.
Shak.

4. The act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; religious reverence and homage; adoration, or acts of reverence, paid to God, or a being viewed as God. "God with idols in their worship joined." Milton.

The worship of God is an eminent part of religion, and prayer is a chief part of religious worship .
Tillotson.

5. Obsequious or submissive respect; extravagant admiration; adoration.

'T is your inky brows, your black silk hair,
Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream,
That can my spirits to your worship .
Shak.

6. An object of worship.

In attitude and aspect formed to be
At once the artist's worship and despair.
Longfellow.

Devil worship , Fire worship , Hero worship , etc. See under Devil , Fire , Hero , etc.

Worship transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Worshiped or Worshipped ; present participle & verbal noun Worshiping or Worshipping .]


1. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence. [ Obsoles.] Chaucer.

Our grave . . . shall have a tongueless mouth,
Not worshiped with a waxen epitaph.
Shak.

This holy image that is man God worshipeth .
Foxe.

2. To pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration; to perform religious exercises in honor of; to adore; to venerate.

But God is to be worshiped .
Shak.

When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones.
Milton.

3. To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission, as a lover; to adore; to idolize.

With bended knees I daily worship her.
Carew.

Syn. -- To adore; revere; reverence; bow to; honor.

Worship intransitive verb To perform acts of homage or adoration; esp., to perform religious service.

Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship .
John iv. 20.

Was it for this I have loved . . . and worshiped in silence?
Longfellow.

Worshipability noun The quality of being worthy to be worshiped. [ R.] Coleridge.

Worshipable adjective Capable of being worshiped; worthy of worship. [ R.] Carlyle.

Worshiper noun One who worships; one who pays divine honors to any being or thing; one who adores. [ Written also worshipper .]

Worshipful adjective Entitled to worship, reverence, or high respect; claiming respect; worthy of honor; -- often used as a term of respect, sometimes ironically. "This is worshipful society." Shak.

[ She is] so dear and worshipful .
Chaucer.

-- Wor"ship*ful*ly , adverb -- Wor"ship*ful*ness , noun

Worst adjective , superl. of Bad . [ Middle English werst , worste , wurste , Anglo-Saxon wyrst , wierst , wierrest . See Worse , adjective ] Bad, evil, or pernicious, in the highest degree, whether in a physical or moral sense. See Worse . "Heard so oft in worst extremes." Milton.

I have a wife, the worst that may be.
Chaucer.

If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
Thou hadst been a knave and flatterer.
Shak.

Worst noun That which is most bad or evil; the most severe, pernicious, calamitous, or wicked state or degree.

The worst is not
So long as we can say, This is the worst .
Shak.

He is always sure of finding diversion when the worst comes to the worst .
Addison.

Worst transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Worsted ; present participle & verbal noun Worsting .] [ See Worse , transitive verb & adjective ] To gain advantage over, in contest or competition; to get the better of; to defeat; to overthrow; to discomfit.

The . . . Philistines were worsted by the captivated ark.
South.

Worst intransitive verb To grow worse; to deteriorate. [ R.] "Every face . . . worsting ." Jane Austen.

Worsted noun [ From Worsted , now spelled Worstead , a town in Norfolk, England; for Worthstead . See Worth , noun , and Stead .]


1. Well-twisted yarn spun of long-staple wool which has been combed to lay the fibers parallel, used for carpets, cloth, hosiery, gloves, and the like.

2. Fine and soft woolen yarn, untwisted or lightly twisted, used in knitting and embroidery.

Wort noun [ Middle English wort , wurt , Anglo-Saxon wyrt herb, root; akin to Old Saxon wurt , German wurz , Icelandic jurt , urt , Danish urt , Swedish ört , Goth. waúrts a root, Latin radix , Greek ... a root, ... a branch, young shoot, ... a branch, and English root , noun Confer Licorice , Orchard , Radish , Root , noun , Whortleberry , Wort an infusion of malt.]


1. (Botany) A plant of any kind.

» This word is now chiefly used in combination, as in cole wort , fig wort , St. John's- wort , wound wort , etc.

2. plural Cabbages.

Wort noun [ Middle English worte , wurte , Anglo-Saxon wyrte ; akin to OD. wort , German würze , bier würze , Icelandic virtr , Swedish vört . See Wort an herb.] An infusion of malt which is unfermented, or is in the act of fermentation; the sweet infusion of malt, which ferments and forms beer; hence, any similar liquid in a state of incipient fermentation.

» Wort consists essentially of a dilute solution of sugar, which by fermentation produces alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Worth intransitive verb [ Middle English worthen , wurþen , to become, Anglo-Saxon weorðan ; akin to Old Saxon werðan , Dutch worden , German werden , Old High German werdan , Icelandic verða , Swedish varda , Goth. waírpan , Latin vertere to turn, Sanskrit vr.t , intransitive verb , to turn, to roll, to become. √143. Confer Verse , - ward , Weird .] To be; to become; to betide; -- now used only in the phrases, woe worth the day, woe worth the man, etc., in which the verb is in the imperative, and the nouns day , man , etc., are in the dative. Woe be to the day, woe be to the man, etc., are equivalent phrases.

I counsel . . . to let the cat worthe .
Piers Plowman.

He worth upon [ got upon] his steed gray.
Chaucer.

Worth adjective [ Middle English worth , wurþ , Anglo-Saxon weorð , wurE ; akin to OFries. werth , Old Saxon werð , Dutch waard , Old High German werd , German wert , werth , Icelandic verðr , Swedish värd , Danish værd , Goth. waírps , and perhaps to English wary . Confer Stalwart , Ware an article of merchandise, Worship .]


1. Valuable; of worthy; estimable; also, worth while. [ Obsolete]

It was not worth to make it wise.
Chaucer.

2. Equal in value to; furnishing an equivalent for; proper to be exchanged for.

A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats.
Shak.

All our doings without charity are nothing worth .
Bk. of Com. Prayer.

If your arguments produce no conviction, they are worth nothing to me.
Beattie.

3. Deserving of; -- in a good or bad sense, but chiefly in a good sense.

To reign is worth ambition, though in hell.
Milton.

This is life indeed, life worth preserving.
Addison.

4. Having possessions equal to; having wealth or estate to the value of.

At Geneva are merchants reckoned worth twenty hundred crowns.
Addison.

Worth while , or Worth the while . See under While , noun

Worth noun [ Middle English worth , wurþ , Anglo-Saxon weorð , wurð ; weorð , wurð , adj. See Worth , adjective ]


1. That quality of a thing which renders it valuable or useful; sum of valuable qualities which render anything useful and sought; value; hence, often, value as expressed in a standard, as money; equivalent in exchange; price.

What 's worth in anything
But so much money as 't will bring?
Hudibras.

2. Value in respect of moral or personal qualities; excellence; virtue; eminence; desert; merit; usefulness; as, a man or magistrate of great worth .

To be of worth, and worthy estimation.
Shak.

As none but she, who in that court did dwell,
Could know such worth, or worth describe so well.
Waller.

To think how modest worth neglected lies.
Shenstone.

Syn. -- Desert; merit; excellence; price; rate.

Worthful adjective Full of worth; worthy; deserving. Marston.

Worthily adverb In a worthy manner; excellently; deservedly; according to merit; justly; suitably; becomingly.

You worthily succeed not only to the honors of your ancestors, but also to their virtues.
Dryden.

Some may very worthily deserve to be hated.
South.

Worthiness noun The quality or state of being worthy; desert; merit; excellence; dignity; virtue; worth.

Who is sure he hath a soul, unless
It see, and judge, and follow worthiness ?
Donne.

She is not worthy to be loved that hath not some feeling of her own worthiness.
Sir P. Sidney.

The prayers which our Savior made were for his own worthiness accepted.
Hooker.

Worthless adjective [ Anglo-Saxon weorðleás .] Destitute of worth; having no value, virtue, excellence, dignity, or the like; undeserving; valueless; useless; vile; mean; as, a worthless garment; a worthless ship; a worthless man or woman; a worthless magistrate.

'T is a worthless world to win or lose.
Byron.

-- Worth"less*ly , adverb -- Worth"less*ness , noun

Worthy adjective [ Compar. Worthier ; superl. Worthiest. ] [ Middle English worthi , wurþi , from worth , wurþ , noun ; confer Icelandic verðugr , Dutch waardig , German würdig , Old High German wirdīg . See Worth , noun ]


1. Having worth or excellence; possessing merit; valuable; deserving; estimable; excellent; virtuous.

Full worthy was he in his lordes war.
Chaucer.

These banished men that I have kept withal
Are men endued with worthy qualities.
Shak.

Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be.
Milton.

This worthy mind should worthy things embrace.
Sir J. Davies.

2. Having suitable, adapted, or equivalent qualities or value; -- usually with of before the thing compared or the object; more rarely, with a following infinitive instead of of , or with that ; as, worthy of, equal in excellence, value, or dignity to; entitled to; meriting; -- usually in a good sense, but sometimes in a bad one.

No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway.
Shak.

The merciless Macdonwald,
Worthy to be a rebel.
Shak.

Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear.
Matt. iii. 11.

And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know
More happiness.
Milton.

The lodging is well worthy of the guest.
Dryden.

3. Of high station; of high social position. [ Obsolete]

Worthy women of the town.
Chaucer.

Worthiest of blood (Eng. Law of Descent) , most worthy of those of the same blood to succeed or inherit; -- applied to males, and expressive of the preference given them over females. Burrill.

Worthy noun ; plural Worthies A man of eminent worth or value; one distinguished for useful and estimable qualities; a person of conspicuous desert; -- much used in the plural; as, the worthies of the church; political worthies ; military worthies .

The blood of ancient worthies in his veins.
Cowper.

Worthy transitive verb To render worthy; to exalt into a hero. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Wost 2d pers. sing. present of Wit , to know. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

Wot 1st & 3d pers. sing. present of Wit , to know. See the Note under Wit , v. [ Obsolete]

Brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it.
Acts iii. 17.

Wotest, Wottest 2d pers. sing. present of Wit , to know. [ Obsolete]

Woteth, Wotteth 3d pers. sing. present of Wit , to know. [ Obsolete] "He wotteth neither what he babbleth, nor what he meaneth." Tyndale.

Woul intransitive verb To howl. [ Obsolete] Wyclif.

Would imperfect of Will . [ Middle English & Anglo-Saxon wolde . See Will , transitive verb ] Commonly used as an auxiliary verb, either in the past tense or in the conditional or optative present. See 2d & 3d Will .

» Would was formerly used also as the past participle of Will .

Right as our Lord hath would .
Chaucer.

Would noun See 2d Weld .

Would-be adjective Desiring or professing to be; vainly pretending to be; as, a would-be poet.

Woulding noun Emotion of desire; inclination; velleity. [ Obsolete] Hammond.

Wouldingness noun Willingness; desire. [ Obsolete]

Woulfe bottle noun (Chemistry) A kind of wash bottle with two or three necks; -- so called after the inventor, Peter Woulfe , an English chemist.

Wound imperfect & past participle of Wind to twist, and Wind to sound by blowing.

Wound noun [ Middle English wounde , wunde , Anglo-Saxon wund ; akin to OFries. wunde , Old Saxon wunda , Dutch wonde , Old High German wunta , German wunde , Icelandic und , and to Anglo-Saxon , Old Saxon , & German wund sore, wounded, Old High German wunt , Goth. wunds , and perhaps also to Goth. winnan to suffer, English win . √140. Confer Zounds.]


1. A hurt or injury caused by violence; specifically, a breach of the skin and flesh of an animal, or in the substance of any creature or living thing; a cut, stab, rent, or the like. Chaucer.

Showers of blood
Rained from the wounds of slaughtered Englishmen.
Shak.

2. Fig.: An injury, hurt, damage, detriment, or the like, to feeling, faculty, reputation, etc.

3. (Criminal Law) An injury to the person by which the skin is divided, or its continuity broken; a lesion of the body, involving some solution of continuity.

» Walker condemns the pronunciation woond as a "capricious novelty." It is certainly opposed to an important principle of our language, namely, that the Old English long sound written ou , and pronounced like French ou or modern English oo , has regularly changed, when accented, into the diphthongal sound usually written with the same letters ou in modern English, as in ground , hound , round , sound . The use of ou in Old English to represent the sound of modern English oo was borrowed from the French, and replaced the older and Anglo-Saxon spelling with u . It makes no difference whether the word was taken from the French or not, provided it is old enough in English to have suffered this change to what is now the common sound of ou ; but words taken from the French at a later time, or influenced by French, may have the French sound.

Wound gall (Zoology) , an elongated swollen or tuberous gall on the branches of the grapevine, caused by a small reddish brown weevil ( Ampeloglypter sesostris ) whose larvæ inhabit the galls.

Wound transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wounded ; present participle & verbal noun Wounding .] [ Anglo-Saxon wundian . √140. See Wound , noun ]


1. To hurt by violence; to produce a breach, or separation of parts, in, as by a cut, stab, blow, or the like.

The archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.
1 Sam. xxxi. 3.

2. To hurt the feelings of; to pain by disrespect, ingratitude, or the like; to cause injury to.

When ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
1 Cor. viii. 12.

Woundable adjective Capable of being wounded; vulnerable. [ R.] Fuller.

Wounder noun One who, or that which, wounds.

Woundily adverb In a woundy manner; excessively; woundy. [ Obsolete]

Woundless adjective Free from wound or hurt; exempt from being wounded; invulnerable. "Knights whose woundless armor rusts." Spenser.

[ Slander] may miss our name,
And hit the woundless air.
Shak.

Woundwort noun (Botany) Any one of certain plants whose soft, downy leaves have been used for dressing wounds, as the kidney vetch, and several species of the labiate genus Stachys .

Woundy adjective Excessive. [ Obsolete]

Such a world of holidays, that 't a woundy hindrance to a poor man that lives by his labor.
L'Estrange.

Woundy adverb Excessively; extremely. [ Obsolete]

A am woundy cold.
Ford.