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

Since clutter collects dust, go the Marie Kondo route and get rid of the clutter. Shelby Deering, Good Housekeeping, "Skipping Spring Cleaning Can Make Allergies and Asthma Much Worse, According to Doctors," 22 Mar. 2019 These shoppers buy high-end pieces, wear them a few times and then rent them to others instead of leaving them to collect dust in their closets. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Is the Future of the Sharing Economy Airbnbing Your Clothes?," 29 Nov. 2018 This Santoku's quickly become my go-to while cooking, leaving my poor butcher's block to sit in the corner, collecting dust. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Chrissy Teigen's $15 Chef's Knife Works As Well As Ones That Are 3x As Expensive," 22 Oct. 2018 This year Koepka finally bought the high-tech TrackMan swing analysis system that has been popular with pros for nearly a decade, but his mostly collects dust. Stephanie Apstein, SI.com, "With Two U.S. Opens in His Bag, Brooks Koepka Still Wants to Be the Underdog," 3 July 2018 If your kitchen is anything like mine, there’s almost certainly one piece of gear collecting dust on the back corner of the baker’s rack. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "6 ways to use a Bundt pan you probably haven’t tried," 20 June 2018 Levin figured her classmates, teammates and their families had extra pairs of old cleats in their closets, mud rooms and garages — shoes that were just collecting dust and could be donated. Alyson Ward, Houston Chronicle, "Soccer cleats service project help young players," 10 June 2018 Stiff Little Butterfingers Chick-O-Stick is the candy at 7-Eleven that’s collecting dust because no one’s gone near it in years. Steffi Victorioso, Los Angeles Magazine, "Every Signature Doughnut at Donut Friend, Ranked," 1 June 2018 Got an old Kenwood, Pioneer or Zenith collecting dust? Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Your vintage video game systems, old iPods and disco-era TVs could be worth big bucks," 22 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Instead of dusting the dough with lemon zest or fennel seeds, use two layers of confetti cake mix to give this classic treat extra sweetness and color. Erin Phraner, Good Housekeeping, "Give This Traditional Easter Bread a Sweet and Colorful Update," 28 Feb. 2019 Winter storms have been hitting the West for several days and brought a surprise dusting to peaks overlooking San Francisco — the city’s first notable snow in eight years. Gillian Flaccus, The Seattle Times, "Snow in San Francisco? Mild cities don’t escape winter storm," 6 Feb. 2019 Washing laundry, dusting, and vacuuming are good for another couple of hours as is the application of pesticides. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Once and For All," 6 Nov. 2018 The last time gray hair was this hot was probably the 1700s, when Marie Antoinette types would dust wigs with white powder scented with lavender or orange flower. Rory Satran, WSJ, "The Hottest Hair Color of the Moment is...Gray," 17 Jan. 2019 Ars staffers have their roster of favorite subscriptions to cycle through whether hopping a train, killing time on a flight, or dusting our shelves of vinyl miniature figurines. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "A few of our favorite podcasts in 2018, from new to new-to-us," 23 Dec. 2018 The products are based off of the brand's popular Fairy Bomb powder puff, but now come in a loose formula that can be dusted anywhere on your face and body. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Fenty Beauty Announced the Release of Fairy Bomb Shimmer Powders," 20 Oct. 2018 Just like your favorite song can instantly put you in a good mood, the right music can dust away the proverbial cobwebs. Alyssa Nassner, Curbed, "Cleansing 101: Keeping your home’s energy in check," 17 Oct. 2018 Around 300 people have been injured since the eruption on Sunday that sent columns ash and smoke 6.2 miles into the sky, dusting several regions with ash. Anchorage Daily News, "Scores dead, rescuers struggle as Guatemala volcano spews hot mud flow," 4 June 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 Apr 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

Comments on dust

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