dirty word


Definition of dirty word

: a word, expression, or idea that is disagreeable or unpopular in a particular frame of reference

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Examples of dirty word in a Sentence

The movie is just a lot of sex, violence, and dirty words. They regard “taxes” as a dirty word. The way he acts, you'd think compassion was a dirty word.
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Recent Examples on the Web In the Arab world, politics has long been a dirty word, or a death sentence. Kim Ghattas, The Atlantic, "What the Arab World’s Protesters Have Learned," 1 May 2021 That's why so many votes in the House are virtually unanimous within each party, and compromise has become a dirty word. David Lebedoff, Star Tribune, "State saved its seat, but 'safe seats' are dangerous," 29 Apr. 2021 Stacking the deck in these congressional districts produced Congress members chosen by party activists who vote in primaries, many of whom regard compromise as a dirty word. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "John Boehner’s political memoir disses Trump and Tea Party but avoids Ohio controversies," 14 Apr. 2021 Suddenly, the message was that socialism remains a dirty word for Latinos. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the top Latino media moments of 2020 — and hints of what to expect in 2021," 31 Dec. 2020 One player picks up a card containing a dirty word and the others do their best to define it as, um, accurately as possible. Michella Oré, Glamour, "20 Adult Card Games to Play This New Year's Eve," 26 Dec. 2020 From Marilyn Monroe to Anna Nicole Smith, bimbos have historically gotten the dirty word treatment because anything that challenged the narrow cis-hetero ideal was automatically dismissed as worthless and disposable. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "Our Smooth Brained Future: The Rise Of The New Age Bimbo," 8 Dec. 2020 On the other hand, politics often remains a dirty word in business, something best kept, when possible, behind closed doors. Gianpiero Petriglieri, Quartz at Work, "Should management be political? That is the wrong question," 20 Nov. 2020 That dirty word, Legacy, is right there in the title, so there’s no separating this movie from its predecessor. Mary Sollosi, EW.com, "Sterile reboot The Craft: Legacy is all woke, no weird: Review," 28 Oct. 2020

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

circa 1774, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for dirty word

Time Traveler

The first known use of dirty word was circa 1774

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Statistics for dirty word

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dirty word.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirty%20word. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for dirty word

dirty word


English Language Learners Definition of dirty word

: an offensive word
: a word, subject, or idea that is disliked by some people

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