badass

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: bad-ass and bad ass

English

Etymology

bad +‎ ass (buttocks; one's self or person)[1]

Pronunciation

Noun

badass (plural badasses)

  1. (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.
  2. (US, sometimes considered vulgar, youth slang, positive connotation) A person considered impressive due to courage, skill, and/or toughness.
    • 1975, Norman Dickens, “Badass”, in Jack Nicholson: The Search for a Superstar, New York, N.Y.: New American Library, OCLC 475640370, page 124:
      "I'm a badass." (Jack Nicholson to a New York friend, early 1973.)
    • 1998, Jason Flores-Williams, chapter 6, in The Last Stand of Mr America, San Francisco, Calif.: Caught Inside Press, OCLC 752309343; 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.
    • 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[2], 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.

Alternative forms

Translations

Adjective

badass (comparative more badass, superlative most badass)

  1. (US, sometimes considered vulgar, slang, negative connotation) Belligerent and troublesome.
    • 2005, Cupcake Brown, chapter 2, in A Piece of Cake: A Memoir, New York, N.Y.: Crown, →ISBN, page 21:
      Uncle Jr. was really quiet. Probably because he was a junior high school teacher and was around badass, hollerin' kids all day.
    • 2009 April, Gary C. King, chapter 2, in Butcher, New York, N.Y.: Pinnacle Books, Kensington Publishing Corp., →ISBN, page 26:
      [There were] lots of really, really bad, badass people … I did not want to be a part of it.
    • 2015, Colin Quinn, The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America[3], New York, N.Y.: Grand Central Publishing, →ISBN:
      I worked at one bar on the Upper East Side that was owned by a famous Irish badass thug everyone was scared of.
  2. (US, sometimes considered vulgar, slang, positive connotation) Having an extreme appearance, attitude, or behavior that is considered admirable.
    That tough guy looks badass.
    • 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."
    • 2012, Mark Jones, Fear and Loathing in Pattaya, [Phoenix, Ariz.]: Booksmango, →ISBN, page 161:
      I took another deep breath and plunged under the white caps again safe in the knowledge that these bad ass Thai boys weren't going to follow me anytime soon, out into the storm affected seas; []
    • 2012, James R. Tuck, chapter 4, in Spider’s Lullaby, New York, N.Y.: Kensington Publishing Corp., →ISBN:
      She's dressed in badass black and the barest amount of chrome that is acceptable. I love her, but she [a car] is not easy to drive.
    • 2013, Katya Armock, chapter 15, in To Growl or to Groan (Hidden Lines; 2), [s.l.]: Etopia Press, →ISBN:
      Yeah. So stop with the pity party. You really are pretty badass right about now.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Usage notes

This term is sometimes considered vulgar, and some may take offence at its usage in conversation, especially when in polite company or in public.

Translations

References

  1. ^ bad-ass” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018, retrieved 4 May 2018.

Further reading