Etymology
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worse (adj.)

Old English wiersa, wyrsa "worse," from Proto-Germanic *wers-izon- (source also of Old Saxon wirs, Old Norse verri, Swedish värre, Old Frisian wirra, Old High German wirsiro, Gothic wairsiza "worse"), comparative of PIE *wers- (1) "to confuse, mix up" (source also of Old High German werra "strife," Old Saxon werran "to entangle, compound;" see war (n.)). Used as a comparative of bad, evil, ill or as the opposite of better. The adverb is Old English wyrs; the noun is Old English wyrsa. Phrase for better or for worse is attested from late 14c. (for bet, for wers); to change for the worse is recorded from c. 1400.

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worsen (v.)

mid-13c., wersnen "to make worse," also "to grow worse," from worse (adj.) + -en (1). The reflexive sense of "to get worse, become worse off" was elevated into literary use c. 1800-30, where formerly worse (v.) had served. Related: Worsened; worsening.

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worser (adj.)

double comparative; see worse + -er (2). Attested from late 15c. and common 16c.-17c. Noun worsers "(one's) inferiors" is from 1580s.

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worship (v.)

c. 1200, from worship (n.). Related: Worshipped; worshipping.

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worship (n.)
Origin and meaning of worship

Old English worðscip, wurðscip (Anglian), weorðscipe (West Saxon) "condition of being worthy, dignity, glory, distinction, honor, renown," from weorð "worthy" (see worth) + -scipe (see -ship). Sense of "reverence paid to a supernatural or divine being" is first recorded c. 1300. The original sense is preserved in the title worshipful "honorable" (c. 1300).

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worshiper (n.)

late 14c., agent noun from worship (v.).

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worst (v.)

"damage, inflict loss upon," c. 1600, from worst (adj.). Meaning "defeat in argument" is from 1650s. Related: Worsted; worsting.

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worst (adj.)

Old English wyrresta, from Proto-Germanic *wers-ista- (source also of Old Saxon wirsista, Old Norse verstr, Old Frisian wersta, Old High German wirsisto), superlative of PIE *wers- (1) "to confuse, mix up" (see war (n.)). Phrase in the worst way (1839) is from American English sense of "most severely." The adverb is Old English wyrst; the noun, "that which is most evil or bad," is from late 14c.

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worsted (n.)

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

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wort (n.)

"a plant," Old English wyrt "root, herb, vegetable, plant, spice," from Proto-Germanic *wurtiz (source also of Old Saxon wurt, Old Norse, Danish urt, Old High German wurz "plant, herb," German Wurz, Gothic waurts, Old Norse rot "root"), from PIE root *wrād- "branch, root." St. John's wort attested from 15c.

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