What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[poo r-lee] /ˈpʊər li/
in a poor manner or way:
The team played poorly.
in poor health; somewhat ill:
I hear she's been poorly.
Origin of poorly
1250-1300; Middle English pourely. See poor, -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for poorly
  • Most of my years of research had been sedentary, in hushed libraries and poorly lit archives.
  • People have continued to treat you and those of your culture poorly.
  • The difficulty is figuring out where the films should go next, especially since the last film was so poorly regarded.
  • Yet now millions of people have quite a clear idea-based on replicas of copies of rather poorly painted portraits.
  • The gym is so poorly designed that a scrimmaging player can be knocked down one of two flights of concrete stairs.
  • As a whole, the actors are so poorly directed that their performances amount to a form of camp.
  • In other relationships, animals don't treat their partners so poorly.
  • Why this mating system exists in some species and not others is poorly understood.
  • Unlike the physics that control the weather, the physics that control earthquakes are still poorly understood.
  • Unfortunately, after decades of poorly regulated fishing, menhaden are in serious trouble.
British Dictionary definitions for poorly


/ˈpʊəlɪ; ˈpɔː-/
in a poor way or manner; badly
(usually postpositive) (informal) in poor health; rather ill: she's poorly today
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for poorly

early 13c., "inadequately, badly, insufficiently," from poor (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "in ill health" is from 1750.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for poorly

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for poorly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with poorly