dirty

adjective
\ ˈdər-tē How to pronounce dirty (audio) \
dirtier; dirtiest

Definition of dirty

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : not clean or pure dirty clothes dirty fingernails
b : likely to befoul or defile with a soiling substance (such as mud, dust, or grime) dirty jobs
c : contaminated with infecting organisms dirty wounds
d : containing impurities dirty coal
2a : morally unclean or corrupt: such as
(1) : indecent, vulgar dirty jokes a dirty movie
(2) : dishonorable, base a dirty trick
(3) : unsportsmanlike dirty players
b : acquired by disreputable or illegal means : ill-gotten dirty money
c : disagreeable, distasteful, or objectionable but usually necessary (as in achieving a desired result) hired a thug to do their dirty work
3a : abominable, hateful war is a dirty business
b : highly regrettable a dirty shame
c : likely to cause disgrace or scandal dirty little secrets
4 : foggy, stormy dirty weather
5a of color : not clear and bright : dullish dirty blond
b music : characterized by a husky, rasping, or raw tonal quality dirty trumpet tones
6 : conveying ill-natured resentment gave him a dirty look

dirty

adverb
dirtier; dirtiest

Definition of dirty (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a dirty (see dirty entry 1) manner: such as
a : deceptively, underhandedly fight dirty
b : indecently talk dirty

dirty

verb
dirtied; dirtying

Definition of dirty (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to soil with a substance (such as mud or grime) : to make dirty (see dirty entry 1) dirtied my new shoes
2a : to stain with dishonor : sully tried to dirty his reputation
b : to debase by distorting the real nature of … their religion took most of the rural whites' pleasures away from them, dirtying sex and the human body until it was a nasty thing …— Lillian Smith

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Other Words from dirty

Adjective

dirtily \ ˈdər-​tə-​lē How to pronounce dirty (audio) \ adverb
dirtiness \ ˈdər-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce dirty (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dirty

Adjective

dirty, filthy, foul, nasty, squalid mean conspicuously unclean or impure. dirty emphasizes the presence of dirt more than an emotional reaction to it. a dirty littered street filthy carries a strong suggestion of offensiveness and typically of gradually accumulated dirt that begrimes and besmears. a stained greasy floor, utterly filthy foul implies extreme offensiveness and an accumulation of what is rotten or stinking. a foul-smelling open sewer nasty applies to what is actually foul or is repugnant to one expecting freshness, cleanliness, or sweetness. it's a nasty job to clean up after a sick cat In practice, nasty is often weakened to the point of being no more than a synonym of unpleasant or disagreeable. had a nasty fall his answer gave her a nasty shock squalid adds to the idea of dirtiness and filth that of slovenly neglect. squalid slums All these terms are also applicable to moral uncleanness or baseness or obscenity. dirty then stresses meanness or despicableness don't ask me to do your dirty work , while filthy and foul describe disgusting obscenity or loathsome behavior filthy street language a foul story of lust and greed , and nasty implies a peculiarly offensive unpleasantness. a stand-up comedian known for nasty humor Distinctively, squalid implies sordidness as well as baseness and dirtiness. engaged in a series of squalid affairs

Examples of dirty in a Sentence

Adjective All my socks are dirty. Try not to get your clothes dirty. I can't breathe this dirty city air. The baby has a dirty diaper. I hate listening to his dirty jokes. Adverb Watch out for her. She plays dirty. He usually wins because he fights dirty. Verb Take off your shoes to keep from dirtying the floor. Her fingers were dirtied with ink.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Robotic vacuums do the dirty work for you — literally. Dan Diclerico, Good Housekeeping, "Best Smart Home Devices of 2021," 3 May 2021 The glory of this gadget lies in its space-saving capabilities, as well as its extra features, like a bottom slot that holds dirty clothes. Summer Cartwright, Travel + Leisure, "This $24 Suitcase Organizer Doubles As a Garment Bag — and It’s Going Viral on TikTok," 30 Apr. 2021 Ages 2-3: Make the bed, pick up toys and books, put dirty clothes in the hamper, help feed pets, wipe up messes, dust with sock on hand. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Get the kids cleaning!," 29 Apr. 2021 More must-read stories from Fortune: How much Bitcoin comes from dirty coal? Sophie Mellor, Fortune, "Business optimism riding high in Europe, survey finds," 27 Apr. 2021 While most mutants stay safe on Krakoa these days, the Marauders are a pirate crew who do the dirty work of smuggling mutant refugees out of unfriendly countries and delivering cutting-edge Krakoan pharmaceuticals to people who need them. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Marvel reveals more incredible X-Men fashion looks for the upcoming Hellfire Gala," 27 Apr. 2021 Basically, Microsoft can automatically revoke select parts of troublesome patches, rather than making end users figure out how to do the dirty work themselves. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Microsoft yanks a Windows 10 update that was wreaking havoc with PC gamers," 26 Apr. 2021 These other little details are something to keep an eye on as well, the grit, dirty work and effort. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Nickel: Look beyond the NBA's most familiar statistics. The Bucks are showing up with hustle.," 26 Apr. 2021 First, though, Tide must convince people that cold water can clean dirty clothes as well as hot water. Matt Egan, CNN, "To save the planet, Tide wants you to quit using warm water for laundry," 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Carburetors were so crude and gasoline so dirty back in the day, that the small passages inside the carburetor could get blocked up with dirt. Ray Magliozz, San Diego Union-Tribune, "In 2020, carburetor concerns are a thing of the past," 25 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Protesters have been seen taking off their shoes before standing on public benches, not wanting to dirty them. Washington Post, "Belarusian-style revolution means cleaning up after protests and stopping for red lights," 22 Sep. 2020 Democrats say this focus is an effort to dirty up Trump’s 2020 rival. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Ron Johnson: Democrats weaponizing ‘Russian disinformation’ narrative to attack Biden-Ukraine investigation," 10 Aug. 2020 Democrats say the focus on Burisma is part of an effort to dirty up Trump’s main rival in the 2020 contest. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "GOP senators deny laundering foreign disinformation in Russia and Ukraine investigations," 6 Aug. 2020 The virus has gotten more of us outdoors, too, dirtying our hands in the soil. cleveland, "Fresh, flavorful herbs are always at the ready in a kitchen garden," 1 June 2020 Some recycling contamination, such as food residue from takeout boxes, can dirty up other perfectly recyclable objects. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, "Recycling contamination up 40% in Marion County as Hoosiers make more waste at home," 28 May 2020 That applies to makeup as well, which can quickly dirty the inside of the mask. cleveland, "Cloth masks in public might be here to stay. Here’s what you need to know.," 15 Apr. 2020 Though Burnell’s adaptation is a bit rickety, Morano brings a gritty neorealist style with the help of cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, and dirties herself up for cred. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Blake Lively and gritty ‘The Rhythm Section’ is plagued by a shaky adaptation," 29 Jan. 2020 This griddle from Blackstone is perfect for cooking large batches of food without dirtying a pan. Popular Science, "Make dinner anywhere with these propane cookers," 18 Mar. 2020

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

circa 1931, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1591, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for dirty

Adjective

see dirt

Adverb

see dirt

Verb

see dirt

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Time Traveler for dirty

Time Traveler

The first known use of dirty was in the 14th century

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Statistics for dirty

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dirty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirty. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for dirty

dirty

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dirty

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not clean
: indecent and offensive
: relating to sex in an indecent or offensive way

dirty

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of dirty (Entry 2 of 3)

: in an unfair or dishonest way
: in an indecent or offensive way

dirty

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dirty (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make (something) dirty

dirty

adjective
\ ˈdər-tē How to pronounce dirty (audio) \
dirtier; dirtiest

Kids Definition of dirty

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not clean dirty clothes
2 : unfair, mean a dirty trick
3 : not pleasant but usually necessary a dirty job
4 : being vulgar : not decent dirty jokes
5 : showing dislike or anger a dirty look

Other Words from dirty

dirtiness noun

dirty

adverb

Kids Definition of dirty (Entry 2 of 3)

: in an unfair or dishonest way She plays dirty.

dirty

verb
dirtied; dirtying

Kids Definition of dirty (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make or become unclean

dirty

adjective
\ ˈdərt-ē How to pronounce dirty (audio) \
dirtier; dirtiest

Medical Definition of dirty

: contaminated with infecting organisms dirty wounds

More from Merriam-Webster on dirty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dirty

Nglish: Translation of dirty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dirty for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dirty

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