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worsted

[woo s-tid, wur-stid] /ˈwʊs tɪd, ˈwɜr stɪd/
noun
1.
firmly twisted yarn or thread spun from combed, stapled wool fibers of the same length, for weaving, knitting, etc.
Compare woolen.
2.
wool cloth woven from such yarns, having a hard, smooth surface and no nap.
adjective
3.
consisting or made of worsted.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English worsted(e), special use of Worstede Worstead (Old English Wurthestede), name of parish in Norfolk, England, where the cloth was made
Related forms
half-worsted, adjective

worst

[wurst] /wɜrst/
adjective, superl. of bad and ill
1.
bad or ill in the highest, greatest, or most extreme degree:
the worst person.
2.
most faulty, unsatisfactory, or objectionable:
the worst paper submitted.
3.
most unfavorable or injurious.
4.
in the poorest condition:
the worst house on the block.
5.
most unpleasant, unattractive, or disagreeable:
the worst personality I've ever known.
6.
most lacking in skill; least skilled:
the worst typist in the group.
noun
7.
that which is worst.
adverb
8.
in the most evil, wicked, severe, or disadvantageous manner.
9.
with the most severity, intensity, etc.; in the greatest degree.
verb (used with object)
10.
to defeat; beat:
He worsted him easily.
Idioms
11.
at worst, if the worst happens; under the worst conditions:
He will be expelled from school, at worst.
Also, at the worst.
12.
get the worst of something, to be defeated by; lose:
to get the worst of a fight.
13.
if worst comes to worst, if the very worst happens:
If worst comes to worst, we still have some money in reserve.
14.
in the worst way, Informal. in an extreme degree; very much:
She wanted a new robe for Christmas in the worst way.
Also, the worst way.
Origin
before 900; Middle English worste (adj., adv., and noun), Old English wur(re)sta, wyr(re)st, wer(re)sta (adj. and adv.); cognate with Old Norse verstr; see worse, -est1
Can be confused
worst, wurst.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for worsted
  • Everyone looked the same and dressed in the same materials: worsted, flannel, or corduroy.
  • Woollen yarn and worsted are prohibited to be exported under the same penalties as wool.
  • The enemy was worsted in successive conflicts, and at last shut himself up in his principal city.
  • worsted wool manufacturers have had almost a decade to adjust to the new policies.
  • There was a choice of trousers or riding breeches, both of wool worsted.
  • Termination of authority to provide grants to manufacturers of worsted wool fabrics.
  • The facility was used as a worsted mill, steam laundry, and drum refurbishing facility.
  • The workers are engaged in the production of woolen and worsted fabrics.
British Dictionary definitions for worsted

worsted

/ˈwʊstɪd/
noun
1.
a closely twisted yarn or thread made from combed long-staple wool
2.
a fabric made from this, with a hard smooth close-textured surface and no nap
3.
(modifier) made of this yarn or fabric: a worsted suit
Word Origin
C13: named after Worstead, a district in Norfolk

worst

/wɜːst/
adjective
1.
the superlative of bad1
adverb
2.
in the most extreme or bad manner or degree
3.
least well, suitably, or acceptably
4.
(in combination) in or to the smallest degree or extent; least: worst-loved
noun
5.
the worst, the least good or most inferior person, thing, or part in a group, narrative, etc
6.
(often preceded by at) the most poor, unpleasant, or unskilled quality or condition: television is at its worst these days
7.
the greatest amount of damage or wickedness of which a person or group is capable: the invaders came and did their worst
8.
the weakest effort or poorest achievement that a person or group is capable of making: the applicant did his worst at the test because he did not want the job
9.
the worst
  1. in the least favourable interpretation or view
  2. under the least favourable conditions
10.
if the worst comes to the worst, if all the more desirable alternatives become impossible or if the worst possible thing happens
11.
come off worst, get the worst of it, to enjoy the least benefit from an issue or be defeated in it
verb
12.
(transitive) to get the advantage over; defeat or beat
Word Origin
Old English wierrest; related to Old Frisian wersta, Old Saxon, Old High German wirsisto, Old Norse verstr
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
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Word Origin and History for worsted
n.

woolen fabric made from twisted yarn, late 13c., from Worstead (Old English Wurðestede), town in Norfolk where the cloth originally was made.

worst

adj.

Old English wyrresta, from Proto-Germanic *wers-ista- (cf. Old Saxon wirsista, Old Norse verstr, Old Frisian wersta, Old High German wirsisto), superlative of PIE *wers- "to confuse, mix up" (see worse). Phrase in the worst way (1839) is from American English sense of "most severely."

v.

"damage, inflict loss upon," c.1600, from worst (adj.). Related: Worsted; worsting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with worsted
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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