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From Middle English lousy, lowsy, lousi, equivalent to louse +‎ -y.


  • IPA(key): /ˈlaʊ.zi/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊzi


lousy (comparative lousier, superlative lousiest)

  1. (colloquial) Remarkably bad; of poor quality.
    Synonym: miserable
    No offense, but his cooking is lousy.
  2. (colloquial) Dirty or untidy.
    I cleaned the lousy garage.
  3. (colloquial) Unwell; under the weather.
    I caught a cold and I've been feeling lousy all week.
  4. (colloquial) Underhanded; mean; contemptible.
    I've had enough of lousy backstabbing at this place.
  5. Infested with lice.
  6. (colloquial, usually with with) Filled or packed (with something, usually bad).
    Synonyms: riddled, -ridden, inundated, jam-packed, teeming
    The place was lousy with students.
    • 1945, John Steinbeck, Cannery Row:
      The benignant influence crept like gas through the Row. [] And triangulation might possibly have located it in the Palace Flophouse and Grill. Certainly the Palace was lousy with it. Mack and the boys were charged. Jones was seen to leap from his chair only to do a quick tap dance and sit down again.
    • 2016, Rick Riordan, The Hammer of Thor, page 6:
      [I talked to] Annabeth about the Greek gods who hung out in New York and made her life difficult. Apparently North America was lousy with ancient gods. We had a full-blown infestation.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Considered an offensive insult prior to World War II, implying filthiness. Now considered a mild or rather dated term.

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