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.
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).
"damage, inflict loss upon," c. 1600, from worst (adj.). Meaning "defeat in argument" is from 1650s. Related: Worsted; worsting.
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.
woolen fabric made from twisted yarn, late 13c., from Worstead (Old English Wurðestede), town in Norfolk where the cloth originally was made.
"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.