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

Another man had taken off his dirty sweater and was lying on a wooden bed, covered with blankets; a European researcher pressed an instrument against his neck while peering at a laptop. Xing Liu, Science Magazine, "At 5100 meters elevation, a Peruvian gold mining town is the world’s highest settlement—and a good place to study how life at extremely low oxygen levels ravages the body.," 12 Sep. 2019 Real country life is dirtier, rougher, less friendly to long skirts and tender stomachs. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "The best thing on the Internet is Chinese cooking videos," 9 Sep. 2019 The soles of Qualley’s feet are noticeably dirty, but that’s apparently part of Tarantino’s idea of fetishistic, counterculture allure. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "From Manson groupie to Pete Davidson’s reported new girlfriend: Margaret Qualley’s breakout summer," 29 Aug. 2019 But these dirty, genre-mashing vibes are as freaky, funky and fresh as ever. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Gorgon City, Slander & More," 16 Aug. 2019 Another welcome bonus was the laundry bag, which was great for storing dirty gym clothes. Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored, "This carry-on suitcase has all the features you want for less than $200," 14 Aug. 2019 Suggs wrote that the glasses are dirty, uncomfortable and hard to use. Rebecca Duke Wiesenberg, baltimoresun.com, "A Maryland deaf community gets closer to movie accessibility," 11 Aug. 2019 Laundry rooms on each floor also eliminate the need for students to drag dirty clothes into elevators and stairwells. Daniel Langhorne, Daily Pilot, "New dorm marks Chapman University’s progress toward housing more students, improving neighbor relations," 9 Aug. 2019 Children swim in the dirty beach water, and the sand is littered with plastic bags and bottles. Danny Gold, SI.com, "The Broken Case of David Ortiz," 23 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There’s no need to dirty a cutting board or a knife. Christina Chaey, Bon Appétit, "Real Talk: Should You Buy a Food Processor?," 13 Sep. 2019 Parscale also met Eric Trump in Washington for a tour of the Trump International Hotel construction site, dirtying his suit before attending a high-level briefing at RNC headquarters on the party’s plans for the campaign’s ground game. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "The Myths of the “Genius” Behind Trump’s Reelection Campaign," 11 Sep. 2019 The river has been dirtied by combined sewer overflows for years, DiZoglio said. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "Bill would form state panel to study, make plan to clean up sewage in Merrimack River," 6 Aug. 2019 In old photos, those dirtied, spattered, and knotted-up Chucks reflected the patina of famous, creative lives of iconoclasts. Kate Bowers, Fortune, "Rebooting Converse: Should the brand play hard to get?," 30 July 2019 After seeing what happens, probably not — feel free to dirty up this lifeguard look with some heinous face paint. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "These 'Stranger Things' Halloween Costume Ideas Bring You Closer to the Upside-Down," 24 July 2019 In one haunting image, the polar bear walks toward a line of cars, her paws dirtied, her head bowed in a way that seems serene, almost deferential. Michele Moses, The New Yorker, "Why the Polar Bear Is the Undisputed Image of Climate Change," 23 June 2019 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

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

7 Oct 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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