dust

noun
\ ˈdəst How to pronounce dust (audio) \

Definition of dust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fine particles of matter (as of earth)
2 : the particles into which something disintegrates
3a : something worthless
b : a state of humiliation
4a : the earth especially as a place of burial
b : the surface of the ground
5a : a cloud of dust
6 archaic : a single particle (as of earth)
7 British : refuse ready for collection

dust

verb
dusted; dusting; dusts

Definition of dust (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 archaic : to make dusty
2 : to make free of dust dust the living room
3a : to sprinkle with fine particles a cake dusted with sugar
b : to sprinkle in the form of dust
4 : to throw a fastball close to (a batter) : brush back often used with off
5 : to defeat badly (as in a race)

intransitive verb

1 of a bird : to work dust into the feathers
2 : to remove dust
3 : to give off dust

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Other Words from dust

Noun

dustless \ -​ləs How to pronounce dustless (audio) \ adjective
dustlike \ -​ˌlīk How to pronounce dustlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of dust in a Sentence

Noun

The floor was covered with dust. You can see the dust particles floating through the air. There is not a speck of dust in that house. As the car sped down the dirt road, it left a cloud of dust behind. He wiped the chalk dust off his hands.

Verb

I dust at least once a week. Dust the pan with flour. The crops will be dusted with pesticide.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When the dust settled—rebels crushed, a new emperor crowned—Li Po was arrested as a criminal. Yunte Huang, WSJ, "‘The Banished Immortal’ Review: ‘Heaven Begot a Talent Like Me’," 11 Jan. 2019 Now almost 30 years old, the Hubble Space Telescope captured the Pillars of Creation—vast gas-and-dust towers in a nebula about 7,000 light years away, where new stars are being formed. WSJ, "Leaps for Humankind," 22 Feb. 2019 Like all stars, our sun began in a nebula, where gas and dust collapsed on itself in a flurry of cosmic friction. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "When the Sun Dies, a Giant Crystal Will Take Its Place," 11 Jan. 2019 Nicknamed Ultima Thule, the object is a small ball of ice in the distant Kuiper Belt, which is a large collection of small bodies that froze out of a disk of gas and dust early in the Solar System's history. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "New Horizons set for humanity’s first-ever Kuiper Belt rendezvous," 28 Dec. 2018 As that galaxy’s gas, dust, stars, and possible planets grind together, jets of X-rays, radio waves, and ultra-high-energy particles blast out. Ian Haydon, Philly.com, "For the first time, scientists harness 'ghost particles' to study the universe and its black holes," 12 July 2018 An animation of the central torus of gas and dust, thought to surround the supermassive black hole of an active galaxy. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "After years of searching, scientists finally trace high-energy neutrinos to a distant blazar," 12 July 2018 In a first, astronomers witness the birth of a planet from gas and dustIn the first convincing observation of its kind, astronomers have directly imaged a newborn planet still forming around its star. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: cycling and climate change, hidden pharma payments, and cursing surgeons," 6 July 2018 The cluster of stars is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust — the raw materials for the creation of new stars, NASA said. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "NASA releases image of 'celestial fireworks' in honor of Independence Day," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The catwalk was dusted with glitter, a nod to Spade’s enduring shimmer, which was threaded throughout Glass’s collection. Katharine K. Zarrella, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Spade's New Creative Director Opens Up About Honoring the Late Designer's Legacy," 30 Jan. 2019 The fire that started Saturday about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco spread as strong winds pushed smoke south, dusting cars and homes with a thin layer of gray ash. Fox News, "Wind spreads California fire as other states battle blazes," 3 July 2018 Roberts and Alana Loughman joined seniors Molly Jones and Jillian Rhodes to then set a meet record in the 200 medley, dusting the pack with a 1:49.90 time. BostonGlobe.com, "2017-18 Swimming All-Scholastics," 7 May 2018 Transfer to a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Gabrielle Hamilton, House Beautiful, "Gabrielle Hamilton's Pasta Kerchief with Poached Egg, French Ham, and Brown Butter," 26 Apr. 2012 But, even though the 75-foot-long wedding veil, the lavish wedding receptions, and the selection of perfect outfits are all done and dusted, the actress isn’t stopping just yet. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Priyanka Chopra Just Revealed a Blonde Hair Makeover," 21 Jan. 2019 Her brows were filled-in a natural brown hue, and her eyes were dusted with a smoky and glittery gray eyeshadow. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga Dyed Her Hair Blue for the Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 Sure, the good doctor was dusted along with half of all living things in the universe in Avengers: Infinity War. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Not dusted for good? There’s a sequel in the works for Doctor Strange," 11 Dec. 2018 In one particularly striking shot, her eyes were dusted in a gradient of sunset shades that included a pop of orange on her brow bone and under her lids, a swipe of shocking pink on her crease, and a fleck of highlight in her inner corners. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Cardi B Was Named Star of the Year by “People en Español”," 30 Oct. 2018

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for dust

Noun

Middle English, from Old English dūst; akin to Old High German tunst storm, and probably to Latin fumus smoke — more at fume

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Statistics for dust

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dust

The first known use of dust was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dust

dust

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: fine dry powder that builds up inside buildings on surfaces that have not recently been cleaned
: fine powder made up of very small pieces of earth or sand
: fine powder made from a particular substance

dust

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dust (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) clean by brushing or wiping dirt and dust from the surface
: to cover (something) with a fine powder

dust

noun
\ ˈdəst How to pronounce dust (audio) \

Kids Definition of dust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fine dry powdery particles (as of earth) : a fine powder that often builds up on furniture
2 : a fine powder made from a particular substance or from something that has disintegrated gold dust
3 : the surface of the ground The horses pawed at the dust.

dust

verb
dusted; dusting

Kids Definition of dust (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make free of dust : brush or wipe away dust dust furniture
2 : to sprinkle with or as if with fine particles Dust the pan with flour.

Other Words from dust

duster \ ˈdə-​stər \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on dust

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dust

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dust

Spanish Central: Translation of dust

Nglish: Translation of dust for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dust for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dust

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