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To feel a distressing emotion, such as guilt, sorrow, or embarrassment. I feel really bad that I wasn't able to come to your birthday party. A: "I can't believe Liz has to spend another night in the hospital." B: "I know, I feel so bad for her."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Also, feel bad about. Experience regret, sadness, embarrassment, or a similar unpleasant emotion. For example, I feel bad about not attending the funeral, or The teacher's scolding made Bobby feel bad. [First half of 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.