Just a simple question this time! :D What is the meaning of 열악하다? From what I figured it means poor (quality) or to be deteriorated, but I'd like to check what it means.

Thanks in advance!

  • You can just take it as "(to be) pretty bad" or "(to be) very poor." The one thing you should remember is that 품질, 수준, 환경, 상황, 시설, 조건, or 여건 is highly likely to be (part of) the subject when 열악하다 is used as the (main) adjective that ends a sentence or clause (I am talking about collocations).
    – Klmo
    Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


The word 열악(劣惡) is, like many others, hanja based. The first hanja means inferior, lower, weak and the second one means bad, ugly etc.

So the whole expression 열악하다 does mean inferior quality or capacity, or deteriorated, like the 표준국어대사전 states.


It means, The circumstances are very poor. usually, we reference this work-related or project related.

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