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 Kilhart said residents can expect low pressure and dirty water from their taps and the department is asking residents not to use any water until further notice. Max Jungreis, BostonGlobe.com, "Town of Harvard under a boil-water order after water main break," 2 Feb. 2020 Historically, the environment has become dirtier as people begin to move up from poverty world-wide. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "Why Invest? A 22-Year-Old’s Tough Questions About Capitalism," 24 Jan. 2020 Dozens of couriers throughout the U.S. would then collect the drug profits and use the dirty money to buy scrap and fine gold. Beth Warren, courier-journal.com, "A ruthless Mexican drug lord’s empire is devastating families with its grip on small-town USA," 25 Nov. 2019 The nadir in this decline was Dirty Grandpa, a 2016 comedy in which De Niro played, yes, a dirty grandpa. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "The rise and fall (and rise) of Robert De Niro’s career," 14 Nov. 2019 Russian Money Since exploding last year, Danske’s dirty-money saga has tainted a number of other banks. Ott Ummelas, Bloomberg.com, "Police Are Searching for Danske’s Missing Ex-Estonia CEO," 23 Sep. 2019 So too are the increases in malaria, dengue fever, lung disease and starvation that are more common in an overheated world shrouded in dirty air. Time, "The Irony of Finding So Many Exoplanets in a Time of Climate Change," 21 Jan. 2020 This summer 32 of the world’s best-known garment-makers, including Gap, Nike, H&M Group and Zara’s owner, Inditex, forged a pact to make fashion less dirty. The Economist, "Green with shame," 12 Dec. 2019 My friend's basement probably had an air leak, and the subway train was pushing dirty air into the house through the basement wall. Lisa Wood Shapiro, Wired, "The Quest for Clean Air," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Soil erosion from the mountain during rains dirtied the ponds and also affected the farming. Gurvinder Singh, Quartz India, "How one Indian community turned a barren hill into an evergreen forest land," 27 Jan. 2020 Then came an interesting twist: China was dirtying up the whole globe, Thiel said. Thomas Meaney, Harper's magazine, "Trumpism After Trump," 20 Jan. 2020 The hit looked clean, even if the outcome dirtied Krug. BostonGlobe.com, "So, who in a Black-and-Gold sweater might respond to such a thing? Monday night, no one. Crickets on an inordinately warm December eve.," 24 Dec. 2019 When asked why the difference in price, one of the pool’s managers, Mohamed Rahim, said the women’s pool and locker room cost more for upkeep because female swimmers sometimes wear makeup that dirties the water. New York Times, "For Women in Kabul, ‘It Is Just Me and the Water’," 22 Dec. 2019 Already looked down upon by more affluent urban residents, they are often accused of dirtying the urban environment. Purva Dewoolkar, Quartz India, "India and China compete again—for whose toilet revolution is worse," 20 Nov. 2019 There’s no need to dirty a cutting board or a knife. Christina Chaey, Bon Appétit, "Real Talk: Should You Buy a Food Processor?," 13 Sep. 2019 Parscale also met Eric Trump in Washington for a tour of the Trump International Hotel construction site, dirtying his suit before attending a high-level briefing at RNC headquarters on the party’s plans for the campaign’s ground game. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "The Myths of the “Genius” Behind Trump’s Reelection Campaign," 11 Sep. 2019 The river has been dirtied by combined sewer overflows for years, DiZoglio said. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "Bill would form state panel to study, make plan to clean up sewage in Merrimack River," 6 Aug. 2019

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

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dirty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirty. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dirty

dirty

adjective
How to pronounce dirty (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dirty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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