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 Regulation is a dirty word for Republicans, Chaparala said. Dallas News, "A Texas conservative congressional candidate wanted to learn more about Dallas’ homeless. Here’s what happened.," 26 Feb. 2020 Civility is as often as not a dirty word, a synonym for moral compromise and not a prescription for practical politics. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "The Closing of the Senatorial Mind," 25 Jan. 2020 Emphasizing the importance of environmental protection, worker safety and civil rights, his harshest critics see deregulation as a dirty word. Cass Sunstein, Twin Cities, "Cass Sunstein: Trump’s new executive orders deserve praise," 18 Oct. 2019 Vija Celmins and Matthew Marks Gallery In the 1960s art world, illusion was a dirty word. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Deep Looking, With Vija Celmins," 26 Sep. 2019 As House Democrats begin the public phase of their impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump this week — over a presidential phone call to Ukraine — I’m forced to use a dirty word. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The ‘Whistleblower’ and Rep. Adam Schiff should be first to testify in Trump Impeachment Theater," 8 Nov. 2019 Michael Hult, Arvada Socialism as a dirty word Enough with the socialism accusations! Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: A noble profession; Avs, Nuggets fans turned off; Socialism as a dirty word; Defending the Electoral College; Will of the people? (10/8/19)," 8 Oct. 2019 Even without the now almost ubiquitous modifier toxic in front of it, masculinity has become a dirty word. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Irishman May Seem Like a Movie About Old White Men. It's So Much More," 31 Oct. 2019 No Bruce, Marmo and his celebrity director Joe Mantegna clearly are arguing here, then no George Carlin or Richard Pryor, especially since Bruce’s mastery of dirty words hardly was confined to a list of seven. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Uncensored Lenny Bruce play now in Chicago shows just who he was," 27 Oct. 2019

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

9 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dirty word.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirty%20word. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dirty word

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