in a bad light

Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

in a bad light

Negatively; under unfavorable circumstances. (Typically used with the verbs "see" or "show," or some similar variation.) I'm flattered that he based a character in his novel on me, but I think I was shown in a bad light. The once-beloved mayor has been seen in a bad light ever since news of his tax-evasion scandal came to public attention.
See also: bad, light
References in classic literature ?
Square himself was not unacquainted with the true impression which those several instances of goodness had made on the excellent heart of Allworthy; for the philosopher very well knew what virtue was, though he was not always perhaps steady in its pursuit; but as for Thwackum, from what reason I will not determine, no such thoughts ever entered into his head: he saw Jones in a bad light, and he imagined Allworthy saw him in the same, but that he was resolved, from pride and stubbornness of spirit, not to give up the boy whom he had once cherished; since by so doing, he must tacitly acknowledge that his former opinion of him had been wrong.
There's no getting your eye in; the next word may bowl you out; it's batting in a bad light all through.