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

Right now, [my staples are] calf-length silk skirts, this one really dirty pair of army pants with a homemade belt, a good vintage sweatshirt, and B Sides Jeans. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Master the Art of Layering With This San Francisco Bag Guru," 23 Apr. 2019 The line between clean CBD and dirty THC perpetuates the damaging, racist War on Drugs. Amber Senter, Marie Claire, "We Have to Acknowledge That CBD Use Is a Privilege," 11 Apr. 2019 Briefly, the Kuznets Curve shows that countries tend to get dirtier and more polluted in their early development, but hit an inflection point at a certain level of wealth and start getting cleaner. David Roberts, Vox, "The case for “conditional optimism” on climate change," 29 Jan. 2019 If people have already stuck with the platform this long, a quick and dirty privacy session isn’t likely to sway their minds either way. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Facebook’s New York privacy pop-up was small, weird, and filled with sugar," 14 Dec. 2018 And not just because of the decor: There are martinis made every which way, from shaken to stirred, vodka to gin, dirty to strained. Seth Shezi, Condé Nast Traveler, "13 Best Bars in Cape Town," 13 Sep. 2018 Diana Rebman, winner of the amateur category, had been hoping to photograph whooper swans on a cold day in Japan’s Akan-Mashu National Park, but the winds were very strong and the swans looked dirty. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Peep the Stunning Winners of the Audubon Society’s Photo Contest," 6 July 2018 Critics called the detention centers overcrowded, dirty and ill-equipped. Jazmine Ulloa, latimes.com, "Family separations at the border: How did we get here?," 19 June 2018 The guys did a lot of business over at Flash Dancers, and Barry was not immune to the delights of a truly dirty lap dance. Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, "The Luck of Kokura," 18 June 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

20 May 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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