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 dirtily (audio) \ adverb
dirtiness \ ˈdər-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce dirtiness (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

Kate and Prince William traveled to the mountainous region of Lake District (where Kate spent happy childhood vacations) on Tuesday to talk to farmers — and get their hands dirty by helping with a bit of sheep shearing. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "Kate Middleton Just Sheared a Wildly Kicking Sheep for the First Time — and Didn’t Flinch Once!," 11 June 2019 Players can get their hands dirty with demon entrails on November 22, 2019 on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Time, "Missed the E3 News? Here Are the Games and Consoles We're Most Excited About," 11 June 2019 The muddy bank teemed with thousands of people, many injured, dirty, and sick. Gaia Vince, Quartz, "How to survive in the world’s largest refugee camp," 8 June 2019 If students don’t go to school because their clothes are dirty, literacy efforts can’t be effective. Emily Bamforth, cleveland.com, "United Way of Cleveland changes how it distributes money, cuts recipients," 5 June 2019 This time is wonderful for expression of aesthetics and beauty, so get your hands dirty. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What May’s Capricorn Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 Apr. 2019 His complexion was ghoulishly youthful, undamaged by the sun: dirty cops don’t dare go on the yard. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Rachel Kushner’s Immersive Fiction," 23 Apr. 2018 Some include dirty talk aimed at pleasing the listener, and others include entertaining attempts to count backward from 100 to 0. Glamour, "15 Porn Sites for Women That You'll Really, Really Enjoy," 20 May 2019 But the botanicals and essential oils awaken our senses, the lush suds overtake our dirty hands, and the packaging tickles the visual part of our brains. Tyler Watamanuk, The Seattle Times, "When did soap, once simple, get so complicated?," 23 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For shoes, Cross chose sleek combat boots, as Beckham went for his trusty Vans, which were slightly dirtied. Vogue, "When 2 Become 1: Brooklyn Beckham and Hana Cross’s Couples Style Hits Peak Copycat," 10 Apr. 2019 Call it a 3-day-old snow scene, after the village's cars have dirtied all the white flakes. Lauren Piro, Good Housekeeping, "10 Sneaky Ways You Fake Clean During the Holidays," 11 Dec. 2014 Until a jockey can ditch a dirtied set for a clean look, life in the fast lane is awful stressful. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "For jockeys, goggles are a necessary shield against horse racing's nastier elements," 19 May 2018 Which is generally okay! Presidents needn't dirty their hands with all of the sausage-making that happens down Pennsylvania Avenue. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "We got a glimpse of Trump negotiating today. It ... wasn't great.," 9 Jan. 2018 Because their introduction is dirtying fundamental charms of the game that long managed perfectly well without them. John Leicester, chicagotribune.com, "Video refereeing a boon and a bust at World Cup," 26 June 2018 On an ever dirtying planet, these folks had the fortune to occupy a lovely sliver. Chris Colin, Outside Online, "Drawing a Line in the Sand Over River Rights," 30 May 2018 The first few all involving making sure my face is super-clean — all the better to, counterintuitively, dirty it up later with Korean baby foreskin — go figure. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "I Tried The ‘Penis Facial’," 16 May 2018 Set designers painted on rust, dirtied air vents, and added a general patina of schmutz to the queue scenes, all in service of the story. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Universal Orlando's Fast & Furious – Supercharged: Does it live up to the movies?," 14 May 2018

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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Statistics for dirty

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dirty

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dirty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dirty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dirty

Spanish Central: Translation of dirty

Nglish: Translation of dirty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dirty for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dirty

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