dirty word


Definition of dirty word

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Inventory is frequently regarded as a dirty word, borne of a natural tendency to want to hold a company’s assets in their most liquid form, like cash. Mark Lippett, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 For many in the outdoor industry, Amazon has become something of a dirty word. Outside Online, 14 May 2018 While the Romans loved their baths, bathing became a dirty word for the next several hundred years. Harry Enten, CNN, 14 May 2022 Globalization nowadays may be a dirty word, but having diverse suppliers is an economic strength. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 13 May 2022 Herd immunity in the absence of a vaccine soon became a dirty word. David Robertson, STAT, 30 Mar. 2022 But in the past year, SPAC has become a bit of a dirty word — or acronym — on Wall Street. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 29 Mar. 2022 Adaptation used to be a dirty word among environmentalists, who viewed the notion as defeatist — an admission of the failure to cut emissions, or an invitation not to try. New York Times, 31 Oct. 2021 Stagflation is the dirty word that describes the confluence of stubborn inflation, high unemployment, and stagnant demand. Greg Petro, Forbes, 22 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near dirty word

dirty tricks

dirty word


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Statistics for dirty word

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dirty word.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirty%20word. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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