dirty laundry


Definition of dirty laundry

: private matters whose public exposure brings distress and embarrassment

called also dirty linen

Examples of dirty laundry in a Sentence

The company is trying to keep its dirty laundry from being aired in public.

Recent Examples on the Web

Things got surprisingly hilarious during D23 Expo’s star-studded Disney Legends Ceremony as Robert Downey Jr. aired some dirty laundry from his past. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Robert Downey Jr. jokes about being arrested at Disneyland 'for smoking pot in a gondola'," 23 Aug. 2019 The rare airing of the group’s dirty laundry has exposed a divide within the NRA among those who believe members’ dues are being misspent to enrich a small cadre of NRA elite. Washington Post, "Weakened but unbowed, NRA head digs in against gun control," 9 Aug. 2019 The rare airing of the group's dirty laundry has exposed a divide within the NRA among those who believe members' dues are being misspent to enrich a small cadre of NRA elite. CBS News, "Scandal-ridden NRA head Wayne LaPierre digs in against gun control," 9 Aug. 2019 And my dirty laundry was folded with Marie Kondo-like precision, the underwear neatly wrapped in tissue paper. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Tide wants to do your laundry for you — so I let them do mine," 19 July 2019 The most obvious is keeping the cat out of your son's room and dirty laundry up off the floor. Cathy Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Cat peeing on dirty laundry is not uncommon feline behavior," 17 July 2019 Her mere five-word response not just aired Odom's dirty laundry but threw him and probably his ego under the bus. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "Kim Kardashian just hardcore burned Khloe's ex-husband, Lamar Odom on Twitter," 18 Jan. 2018 Fox doesn’t mind if strangers are willing to air out their dirty laundry in front of cameras. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Vivica A. Fox talks #MeToo: ‘I can’t say I haven’t been hit on, I just tried to make better choices'," 24 Sep. 2018 The bedroom's the obvious place to go looking for dirty laundry — but don't forget about the den! Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How Gross Are Your Laundry Habits?," 21 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dirty laundry.' 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 laundry

1967, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for dirty laundry

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for dirty laundry

The first known use of dirty laundry was in 1967

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More Definitions for dirty laundry

dirty laundry


English Language Learners Definition of dirty laundry

: private information that causes shame and embarrassment when it is made public

Comments on dirty laundry

What made you want to look up dirty laundry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
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