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 Both rules disadvantage renewable power and give priority to dirtier, more expensive energy from plants run by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), says Julio Valle of the Mexican Wind Energy Association. The Economist, "Betting on black Nothing can shake AMLO’s fossil-fuel fixation," 23 May 2020 The dirty work of regime change, the realpolitik of running an empire, and the good jokes are largely left to the other characters. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, "The Great’s Empowerment Problem," 15 May 2020 Cincinnati Enquirer NORWOOD — Lakota East forward Alex Mangold had spent the majority of Sunday afternoon doing the dirty work. Shelby Dermer, Cincinnati.com, "Mangold's late free throws lift Lakota East over Beavercreek for district championship," 8 Mar. 2020 Other stars got their hands dirty, like Dierks Bentley, who pitched in to help his longtime drummer clean up his severely damaged home. Aj Willingham, CNN, "The highest praise an artist can get," 6 Mar. 2020 The sometimes-sanctimonious but always well-meaning guy who nudges everyone to just do a little more – like doing the dirty work of telling a room full of celebrities to stop taking private jets. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "Here’s Where Rooney Mara & Joaquin Phoenix Got Their Post-Oscars Vegan Burgers," 10 Feb. 2020 Schiff: This report chronicles a scheme by the President of the United States to coerce an ally, Ukraine, that is at war with an adversary, Russia, into doing the President's political dirty work. NBC News, "Transcript: The Report," 4 Dec. 2019 Evidence of his searching, intuitive approach is at odds with the image of a man who was too caught up in his own intellectual speculations to bother getting his hands dirty. Washington Post, "Quiet, please. At the Louvre’s ‘Léonard de Vinci’ exhibition, you’re in the presence of genius.," 29 Oct. 2019 On Sunday afternoon, Wolfe will strap on his helmet and do dirty work in the trenches at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Is NFL football worth wrecking a man’s health? After Andrew Luck answered no, Broncos defender Derek Wolfe began to wonder.," 26 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 If a paper towel is available, be sure to use it to turn off the faucet to avoid dirtying your hands again. Emily Bamforth, cleveland, "Washing your hands: Best public restroom etiquette in the age of coronavirus," 4 Mar. 2020 Over the last 10 years, about a dozen pieces of San Antonio real estate have been sold at Treasury Department auctions after the government alleged in criminal cases and civil lawsuits that they were tied to dirty money from Mexico. Jason Buch, ExpressNews.com, "Money laundering fallout: feds selling homes without knowledge of tenants," 24 Feb. 2020 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

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

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dirty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirty. Accessed 4 Jun. 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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