din·​gy | \ ˈdin-jē How to pronounce dingy (audio) \
dingier; dingiest

Definition of dingy

1 : dirty, unclean dingy fingernails
2 : shabby, squalid a dingy hotel room

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Other Words from dingy

dingily \ ˈdin-​jə-​lē How to pronounce dingily (audio) \ adverb
dinginess \ ˈdin-​jē-​nəs How to pronounce dinginess (audio) \ noun

Examples of dingy in a Sentence

He's been staying in a dingy motel. the bed sheets were pretty dingy so we threw them in the laundry pile

Recent Examples on the Web

Some lecture halls are dingy and don’t seem to have been updated much since the 1950s, when they were built from Germany’s post-World War II rubble. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "Bernie Sanders and other Democrats are embracing free college. Europe shows there’s a cost.," 25 June 2019 Sino said the clinic, a dingy concrete structure with few facilities, sees around four such children a day, mostly babies whose mothers don’t eat enough to produce milk. Washington Post, "New suffering for the children of the ISIS caliphate as hunger and sickness spread," 20 June 2019 The ship’s cramped, dingy, 6-by-60 meters overflow with rumor, a macho posturing, and a toxic ideology of heroism. Adrian Daub, The New Republic, "Hulu’s Das Boot Gets Lost at Sea," 19 June 2019 These dingy apartments were on the most coveted plots of city real estate, and as China urbanized, their value rocketed. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "China’s debt disease might wreck its uncrashable housing market," 11 June 2019 In this terrible reboot, there’s no local flavor, or any flavor. Thompson’s Agent M gets on an NYC subway car — and the familiar dingy cabin transforms into a luxury lounge with comfy seating. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reunite for eerily bland Men in Black: International: EW review," 12 June 2019 There’s nothing like clutter to make a room feel cramped and dingy. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "18 Pieces from Walmart’s New MoDRN Collection That’ll Upgrade Every Room in Your Home," 20 May 2019 Or the mob of fans lighting flares inside a dingy gym. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Greek Mythology of the NBA’s Superstar," 2 Apr. 2019 These machines can help clean up dingy arms and headrests on your furniture, not to mention spots on carpets, rugs, and car interiors. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean a Couch Like a Pro," 29 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dingy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dingy

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dingy

origin unknown

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Statistics for dingy

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dingy

The first known use of dingy was in 1691

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More Definitions for dingy



English Language Learners Definition of dingy

: dark and dirty : not fresh or clean


din·​gy | \ ˈdin-jē How to pronounce dingy (audio) \
dingier; dingiest

Kids Definition of dingy

: rather dark and dirty a dingy room

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More from Merriam-Webster on dingy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dingy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dingy

Spanish Central: Translation of dingy

Nglish: Translation of dingy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dingy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dingy

What made you want to look up dingy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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