\ ˈdərt How to pronounce dirt (audio) \

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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Synonyms for dirt


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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 All produce should be thoroughly washed to remove any pesticide residue, dirt and bacteria. Katy Severson, chicagotribune.com, "The best juicer for the money," 10 Apr. 2021 Any computer that’s been around the block for a while is filled with dirt and dust as well as food debris and other unpleasantness. Dave Johnson, Forbes, "9 Ways You Can Spring Clean Your Computer To Make It Run Faster And Live Longer," 9 Apr. 2021 And the machine will also extract the cleaning solution along with the dirt and debris in the carpet. Brett Martin, Popular Mechanics, "10 Carpet-Cleaning Secrets From the Pros," 9 Apr. 2021 Keep in mind that this vacuum, which weighs less than 5 pounds, has a smaller 0.4-liter capacity to collect dirt and dust. Ambar Pardilla, NBC News, "The best affordable vacuums under $100 of 2021," 8 Apr. 2021 Conservator Simon Gillespie, whose studio has also helped identify overlooked paintings by Sandro Botticelli and Artemisia Gentileschi, removed layers of varnish, dirt and overpaint to reveal the artist’s original colors and composition. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Newly Discovered Gainsborough Portrait Reveals Likeness of Overlooked Composer," 8 Apr. 2021 For several weeks, the scientists have been digging abalone out of dirt and debris, packing them in coolers and taking them to a makeshift rehab facility. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Rush to rescue thousands of endangered abalone buried in Big Sur landslides," 3 Apr. 2021 The library will also work to de-grime the dirt and dust that’s accumulated over the archive’s history. BostonGlobe.com, "A new fellowship for Black writers at GrubStreet, a Joy Harjo visit to Harvard, and new work at the archives in the Boston Public Library," 1 Apr. 2021 But a worker still fluffs the pine straw with a pitchfork to shake free any dirt and leaves. Washington Post, "The ‘brown gold’ that falls from pine trees in North Carolina," 31 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for dirt

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dirt

Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dirt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirt. Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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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
informal : a person or thing that has no value


\ ˈdərt How to pronounce dirt (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on dirt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dirt

Nglish: Translation of dirt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dirt for Arabic Speakers

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