dirty

adjective
\ ˈdər-tē \
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 \ adverb
dirtiness \ˈdər-tē-nəs \ 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

That dirty air makes people sick and can even kill them. Rob Jackson, Scientific American, "Relaxing Vehicle-Efficiency Standards Is a Truly Dangerous Idea," 12 July 2018 Long lines, regular delays and dirty facilities can turn a fun trip into a stressful experience. Ethan May, Indianapolis Star, "Everyone loves the Indianapolis airport. This time, it's Travel +Leisure.," 11 July 2018 America, increasingly alone among nations, still clings, eyes shut tight, to the dirty past. David Roberts, Vox, "The Netherlands contemplates the world’s toughest climate law," 6 July 2018 President Donald Trump later castigated the restaurant on Twitter, saying that the restaurant’s exterior was dirty. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "In Unusual Move, Secret Service Will Protect White Press Secretary Sarah Sanders," 26 June 2018 The development underscores how rapidly China is boosting natural gas use at the expense of dirtier fuels like oil and coal to meet President Xi Jinping’s pollution-cutting goals. Dan Murtaugh, Bloomberg.com, "China Takes Gas Crown as Clean-Air Push Powers It Past Japan," 25 June 2018 The wells are up to 40 feet deep, and the water in them is often dirty, milky white in color, and home to worms. National Geographic, "Why These Children Are Forced to Scale a 40-Foot Well," 22 June 2018 Get our daily newsletter Shipping accounts for only around 2% of global carbon emissions, but is quite dirty. The Economist, "A wave of new environmental laws is scaring shipowners," 21 June 2018 Gary Clark is 56th: Clark is a great rebounder and dirty-work specialist who plays bigger than his size, embracing his role as a defensive cog while also finding ways to expand his offense over four years at Cincinnati. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "TML: A stern talk with Ray Cook ... my golf putter," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 His uniform already had been dirtied by his earlier dash around the bases. Dennis Lin, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres back Dinelson Lamet in fourth consecutive victory," 29 July 2017 Already his neighbors are complaining about their wells dirtied with sediment from the construction. Kathryn Miles, Outside Online, "The Forest Service Is Arresting Protestors Along the AT," 25 Apr. 2018 From analysts from the– different agencies that the Russians had did this, their goals were to dirty up the American democracy, to hurt Hillary Clinton and to help elect Donald Trump. Time Staff, Time, "Read the Full Transcript From James Comey's ABC Interview," 17 Apr. 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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Learn More about dirty

Statistics for dirty

Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

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 \
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 \
dirtier; dirtiest

Medical Definition of dirty 

: contaminated with infecting organisms dirty wounds

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Comments on dirty

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