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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈbædæs/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈbædˌæs/
- (older) IPA(key): /bædˈæs/
Audio (GA) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Rhymes: (older) -æs
- Hyphenation: bad‧ass
badass (plural badasses)
- (US, sometimes considered vulgar, slang, negative connotation) A belligerent or mean person; a person with an unpleasantly extreme appearance, attitudes, or behavior.
- Don’t mess with that guy, he’s a real badass.
- 1995, Robert Girardi, Madeleine’s Ghost, New York, N.Y.: Delacorte Press, →ISBN:
- There are badasses, and there are badasses. Dothan is one of the latter, from a family full of badasses. I'm not saying he isn't a decent sort. He's fully rational, not like his brother Curtis. But Christ, when the sombitch gets mad …
- 2015, Michael Shermer, The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom, New York, N.Y.: Henry Holt and Company, →ISBN, page 59:
- They flew the Jolly Roger to signal their reputation for mayhem but, in fact, the pirates didn't actually want a fight, because fighting is costly and dangerous and might result in economic loss. […] Of course, to maintain a reputation that you are a badass, you actually have to occasionally be a badass, so pirates intermittently engaged in violence, reports of which they happily provided to newspaper editors, who duly published them in gory and exaggerated detail.
- (US, sometimes considered vulgar, slang, positive connotation) A person considered impressive due to courage, skill, daring, audacity, and/or toughness.
- 1998, Jason Flores-Williams, chapter 6, in The Last Stand of Mr America, San Francisco, Calif.: Caught Inside Press, →OCLC; republished Seattle, Wash.: Nobody Rocks Press, 2009, →ISBN, page 124:
- The Oakland Raiders are one of the few teams that I have any feelings for besides the Steelers. Nowadays they're a bunch of wannabe badasses, but back in the day they were something to behold.
- 2004 May, Vince Flynn, chapter 6, in Memorial Day, New York, N.Y.: Atria Books, →ISBN, page 39:
- Men and women from the CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO) would return from Afghanistan and tell stories about Task Force 11, an amalgamation of Special Forces bad-asses from the various branches of the U.S. military.
- 2011 July 21, Ishaan Tharoor, “Top 10 Bad-Ass Wives”, in Time:
- The Rani of Jhansi
[…] The Rani, also known as Lakshmibai, eventually joined in, and won a few stunning battles. She perished, according to lore, while fighting the British on horseback in full armored splendor. She was only 22.
- 2013 June, Scott McEwen, Thomas Koloniar, chapter 2, in Sniper Elite: One-way Trip: A Novel (Touchstone Book), New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 11:
- Known throughout the Spec-Ops community as the best of the best, they were the go-to badasses in the air for the go-to badasses on the ground, and Sandra was the first female pilot to be made a member.
- 2014 September 24, Boo Marx, chapter 10, in The American Terrorists: The True Story of a Real Telepath who Defeated over Three Hundred Soldiers with His Mind, Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, →ISBN, page 100:
- I walked out of the mall like I was a real bad ass. Once I was in my truck, I slammed the door starting the engine peeling away from my parkin spot.
- 2017 December 1, Tom Breihan, “Mad Max: Fury Road Might Already be the Best Action Movie Ever Made”, in The A.V. Club, archived from the original on 22 February 2018:
- [Charlize] Theron is an absolute badass in the role: hard, intense, quietly vulnerable, in charge at almost every moment. She fights Mad Max to a standstill even though she’s only got one arm. She takes his rifle and shoots out the light of the Bullet Farmer’s car when Max can’t do it.
belligerent or mean person
person considered impressive
- (US, sometimes considered vulgar, slang, negative connotation) Belligerent and troublesome.
- (US, sometimes considered vulgar, slang, positive connotation) Having an extreme appearance, attitude, or behavior that is considered admirable.
- 2004 February 18, Dan Shive, El Goonish Shive (webcomic), Comic for Wednesday, Feb 18, 2004:
- "FAIRY WING GLITTER!!!" / *sparkle* / "It's hard to look bad-ass when using fairy powers..." *sigh*
- 2011, Laura Dave, chapter 14, in The First Husband: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Viking, →ISBN; republished New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, 2012, →ISBN, page 95:
- "Nice coat, lady!" he said. / I sat down across from him. "Not a good moment to start with me about it," I said. / "Who's starting with you? It's badass." It took me only half a second to see that he was serious. "Completely badass."
This term is sometimes considered vulgar, and some may take offence at its usage in conversation, especially when in polite company or in public.
having an extreme appearance, etc., considered admirable