\ 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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Synonyms for dirt


clod, earth, ground, mold, soil

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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

The dirt road to the ranch is unmarked at the highway and is normally closed to visitors, although UT-San Antonio and NPS archaeologists have excavated the site. Joe Holley, Houston Chronicle, "The remarkable Ana Maria Calvillo: She could ride, shoot, ranch and live in peace with the Indians," 29 June 2018 In a hut up the hill, a 12-year-old orphan lay on the dirt floor, his mind racked by memories of his parents. Shashank Bengali, latimes.com, "Worldwide, 1 in 110 people is displaced from home. Here's what life is like for some of them," 19 June 2018 Adams' great uncle purchased an old log cabin with a dirt floor and no running water or electricity on Big Bearskin Lake and later gave it to her father in 1921. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cabin life up north is a summer generational ritual in Wisconsin," 13 June 2018 For plenty of drivers—like, say, the the Queen of England— that means tackling dirt roads and trails. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Land Rover Wants to Take Self-Driving Cars Off-Roading," 9 June 2018 Authorities found him Sunday afternoon on a dirt road near Clearwater Falls in the Umpqua National Forest, the sheriff's office said. Gordon R. Friedman, OregonLive.com, "Missing Florida motorcyclist found alive in Oregon wilderness," 4 June 2018 The reason why Daryl Parker is so sure of where Jennifer died is because of a clue that lies on the river's floor a short way down the dirt road. CBS News, "Unsolved murder case is the talk of small Texas town 16 years later," 19 May 2018 The bidders, most dressed in jeans and T-shirts, moved in a cluster down a dirt path lined by farm equipment and vehicles — tractors, an irrigation system, a rock picker, a wheel loader. BostonGlobe.com, "With family grown apart, historic farm is in the middle," 13 July 2018 The opening of his bar in the late 1960s made possible a career that would propel Flynt from dirt-poor Kentucky boy to one of 20th Century America’s most successful and reviled pornographers. Cincinnati Enquirer, "Read more from this Project," 13 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

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on dirt

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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