When things go from terrible to even more terrible, they worsen. If your sore throat worsens, you should call the doctor.

If something gets worse, you can say that it worsens. So if the rain that started as a misty drizzle begins to grow torrential, threatening to ruin the picnic you've planned, the weather worsens. And if there's less money in your piggy bank every day, your financial situation worsens. The verb worsen shares a root with war, the Old Saxon werran, meaning "to entangle."

Definitions of worsen
  1. verb
    grow worse
    “Conditions in the slum worsened
    synonyms: decline
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    ameliorate, better, improve, meliorate
    get better
    ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
    make better
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    become inflamed; get sore
    come down, sicken
    get sick
    degenerate, deteriorate, devolve, drop
    grow worse
    deprive, impoverish
    take away
    get worse
    suffer a sudden downfall, overthrow, or defeat
    drop away, drop off, fall away, slip
    get worse
    get worse
    lose, suffer
    be set at a disadvantage
    regress, retrograde, retrogress
    get worse or fall back to a previous condition
    turn down
    take a downward direction
    fatigue, jade, pall, tire, weary
    lose interest or become bored with something or somebody
    become pale and sickly
    contract, get, take
    be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness
    become infected with a canker
    fade, languish
    become feeble
    rot, waste
    become physically weaker
    deprive (an established church) of its status
    backslide, lapse
    drop to a lower level, as in one's morals or standards
    drop off, fall back, fall behind, lose, recede
    type of:
    change state, turn
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
  2. verb
    make worse
    synonyms: aggravate, exacerbate, exasperate
    see moresee less
    ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
    make better
    ameliorate, better, improve, meliorate
    get better
    show more antonyms...
    show 6 types...
    hide 6 types...
    excite to an abnormal condition, or chafe or inflame
    cause inflammation in
    cheapen, degrade
    lower the grade of something; reduce its worth
    devaluate, devalue
    remove the value from; deprive of its value
    chafe, fret, gall
    become or make sore by or as if by rubbing
    itch, rub, scratch
    scrape or rub as if to relieve itching
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
Word Family
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