a bad apple

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a bad apple

A person whose own words or actions negatively impacts an entire group of people. Taken from the proverb "a bad apple spoils the bunch." Jeremy is really a bad apple. After five minutes with my usually well-behaved kids, they're all acting out.
See also: apple, bad

a bad apple

or

a rotten apple

COMMON If someone is a bad apple or a rotten apple, they are very dishonest or unpleasant, and they have a bad influence on the people around them. It's an opportunity for them to make clear that they are not going to tolerate a bad apple in the United States Senate. In any profession, there's always the rotten apple, isn't there. Note: If a rotten apple is stored with good apples, it causes the good ones to rot.
See also: apple, bad

a bad/rotten ˈapple

one bad person who has a bad effect on others in a group: In response to the allegations of mass corruption within the team, a former player said today, ‘There may be the odd rotten apple in the pack, but the majority are clean and honest.’
See also: apple, bad, rotten
References in periodicals archive ?
Research has shown that even though the percentages of bad apples are relatively small, the sheer amount of time and effort required in dealing with them is huge.
There's a few bad apples in the church, but no more than, say, in the public school system.
In July 2011, Bivol, official partner of WikiLeaks for Bulgaria, published the cable, titled "Bulgarian Banks Generally Healthy, but a Few Bad Apples Remain."
Could it be that the bad apple is in a different barrel?" --Don Zeh, MT, CHT, WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine, Morgantown, WV "Kwiatkowski is not a medical laboratory professional!
The Bad Apples had nine hits in the final, including six for extra bases.
The researchers found that when it comes to aging and pneumonia, one bad apple can ruin the barrel.
So, what can be done about these bad apples? If there were an island for misfit advisors and other, various Medicare scam artists, that would be a good start.
(Pink Sheets: ADTR), has announced the release of the Facebook and iPhone OS versions of its new game, "Bad Apples." The iPhone version, is listed as a "New and Noteworthy" game by the iPhone App Store.
I fear the new law will erode the accountability of the bad apples in the country's police force.
Apparently, the claims of intentionally targeting Palestinian civilians, of shooting women and children, of the wanton destruction of civilian infrastructure and personal property, even if they are true, are only, we are told, the misguided actions of a few bad apples.
Coolness aside, the members say the name should be interpreted as something that pushes against conformity, "like a black sheep rebelling against the norms." The popular saying about bad apples takes a different connotation with the band.
Coun Page is quite correct in saying that a few bad apples create the impression that politics is rotten throughout.
It is important that bad apples are weeded out and made to pay for their crimes.
The important thing to remember is that he is one of a few "bad apples" that are present in every society.