\ˈdərt \

Definition of dirt 

1a : excrement

b : a filthy or soiling substance (such as mud, dust, or grime)

c archaic : something worthless

d : a contemptible person treated me like dirt

2 : loose or packed soil or sand : earth a mound of dirt a dirt road

3a : an abject or filthy state : squalor living in dirt

b : corruption, chicanery vowed to clean up the dirt in the city government

c : licentiousness of language or theme

d : scandalous or malicious gossip spreading dirt about his ex-wife

e : embarrassing or incriminating information trying to dig up dirt on her political rivals

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Examples of dirt in a Sentence

Pack dirt loosely around the base of the plant. You've got some dirt on your face. Their shoes were covered with dirt. No amount of cleaning will get rid of all this dirt.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Nail brush: Even the cleanest of campers get dirt under their fingernails, so opt for a nail brush ($5.49 for a pack of four)—it’s especially helpful when traveling with the kiddos. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 First, white will quickly show the dust and dirt that gets kicked up by tires and even while walking. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Melania Trump Gave Us All a Valuable Lesson in How Not to Dress in Africa," 9 Oct. 2018 European, if their elephant print pants, heaping backpacks, and dog-eared copies of Lonely Planet are to be believed—have come to fuel up before catching their dirt-cheap overnight train to Chiang Mai. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 Even the ones in your downstairs powder room get covered in dirt with enough foot traffic. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How Gross Are Your Laundry Habits?," 21 Sep. 2018 But there’s another even more abundant resource lurking on the Moon: dirt. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How NASA plans to use lunar dust to build structures on the Moon," 18 Sep. 2018 Spritz the leaves of natives and exotic ornamental garden plants to remove accumulated dust and dirt. Nan Sterman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "July in the garden," 5 July 2018 Partially shaded area outside with at least two different ground covers (dirt, grass, rocks, concrete, etcetera) Preparation Find the line on the ground where an area in the sun meets an area in the shade. Science Buddies, Scientific American, "Warm in the Sun," 12 July 2018 On a recent visit, Lynas technicians mixed rare earth concentrate, which looks to the untrained eye like unremarkable dirt, into chemical tanks that extract elements like lanthanum and cerium. Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, "How Rare Earths (What?) Could Be Crucial in a U.S.-China Trade War," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dirt.' 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 dirt

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dirt

Middle English drit, from Old Norse; akin to Old English drītan to defecate

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Dictionary Entries near dirt






dirt band

dirt bed

Statistics for dirt

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for dirt

The first known use of dirt was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for dirt



English Language Learners Definition of dirt

: loose earth or soil

: a substance (such as mud or dust) that makes things unclean

: a person or thing that has no value


\ˈdərt \

Kids Definition of dirt

1 : soil entry 2 sense 1 She packed dirt around the plant.

2 : a substance (as mud or dust) that makes things unclean Wipe the dirt off your face.

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