Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English poorly, pouerly, poreliche, poureliche, pouerliche, equivalent to poor +‎ -ly.


poorly (comparative poorlier or more poorly, superlative poorliest or most poorly)

  1. In a poor manner or condition; without plenty, or sufficiency, or suitable provision for comfort.
    to live poorly
  2. With little or no success; indifferently; with little profit or advantage.
    to do poorly in business
  3. Meanly; without spirit.
  4. Without skill or merit.
    He plays tennis poorly.
  5. In a negative manner; with disapproval.
    I think poorly of them.
    She looked poorly on that suggestion.
Usage notesEdit
  • Verbs to which "poorly" is often applied as an adverb to suggest insufficiency or inadequacy: planned, conceived, executed, implemented, performing, managed, controlled, designed, represented, differentiated, suited, built, dressed, soluble, ventilated, known, paid, used etc.

Example: Putting a Clif bar in a Magic Bullet will end poorly.

Etymology 2Edit

From poor +‎ -ly.


poorly (not comparable)

  1. ill, unwell, sick