In OALD (9th edition), the word 'bad' is defined as 'good;excellent' in a definition. I'd like to know sentence examples. When I thought much about it, I felt bad. Is my sentence acceptable according to that meaning of 'bad'?

  • Example: The roller coaster was badass. I prefer to use badass when using bad as "good" as it is less confusing. But it's slightly vulgar. Don't say it in church.
    – iMerchant
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 9:35
  • "Did you see that hot rod? That was so bad."
    – iMerchant
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 9:39

2 Answers 2


No. In most cases, bad means something negative. So unless your context suggests otherwise, your sentence is perfecltly fine, but won't be understood in the way you intend it to be.

The use of bad meaning "excellent" is purely a slang use.

See definition 14 here:

14 excellent
(badder, baddest) (slang, especially North American English)
good; excellent


Bad tends to mean 'good' when describing something extreme, or something which is negative in an admirable fashion.

For example saying 'Georgia is one bad chick' can be endearment, or a compliment, if the speaker means that she breaks rules, swears, is rebellious, behaves impolitely in other ways, but in an overall endearing manner, or that while she is attractive, she carries an air of danger about her.

If not said with the correct intonation, it can also meant literally that Georgia is a bad person/is lacking in many qualities.

'Bad' is used to mean 'good' when you find some things considered 'bad' or slightly outside-the-norm (or extreme, in the case of 'bad' referring to someone who pulls risky stunts in a sport, like skateboarding) admirable.

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