dust

1 of 2

noun

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

dust

2 of 2

verb

dusted; dusting; dusts

transitive verb

1
archaic : to make dusty
2
: to make free of dust
dust the living room
3
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Lululemon markdowns are like gold dust, but the brand is offering special prices on its best-selling sports bras, leggings, jackets, and men’s loungewear. Glamour, 26 Nov. 2022 Speaking of falls, this model Apple Watch is incredibly durable with a crack resistant design that's dust resistant. Rachel Murphy, The Arizona Republic, 25 Nov. 2022 Even the most high-tech models enjoy staggering discounts, making a dust-busting purchase a little easier on the wallet. Grace Smith, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Nov. 2022 Shark vacuum, which features a self-cleaning brushroll and a HEPA filter to trap dust rather than kick it up. Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2022 Following her attack, Maren skips town again, leaving Lee in her dust. Haadiza Ogwude, The Enquirer, 23 Nov. 2022 Employees returned to work today after a fire in a dust collector closed the Polaris vehicle factory in Madison overnight, according to the company and Huntsville Fire Department. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, 23 Nov. 2022 East Central just played a game Friday that will go down as one of those memorable, dust-off-the-scrapbook-and-relive-in-20-years moments that state champions can enjoy. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Nov. 2022 Sports cars now weave between tractors here, sending up clouds of orange dust beneath billboards selling everything from private jets to luxury condos with artificial beaches. Samantha Pearson, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2022
Verb
The revered statue in Italy is not going to dust itself. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, 28 Nov. 2022 This Swiffer Sweeper is safe for all floor surfaces and, because the head pivots and locks at 90 degrees, it can even be used to dust vertical surfaces like walls. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 16 Nov. 2022 Just dip pinecones in white paint and dust them in a little gold for total glam vibes. Angela Belt, House Beautiful, 9 Nov. 2022 Despite this setback, dust yourself off and try to express your feelings to this person. Chicago Tribune, 21 July 2022 This take on the Sam Cooke classic will pick you up and dust you off. Lawrence Specker | Lspecker@al.com, al, 14 Sep. 2022 Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter, and dust it with flour. Christina Bernstein, Outside Online, 12 Nov. 2020 Still, oilier skin types might need to dust another layer onto their T-zones sooner than later. Theresa Holland, PEOPLE.com, 22 July 2022 Addison is four inches shorter, nearly 50 pounds lighter and a near-unstoppable deep threat who might dust London in a foot race. Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near dust

Cite this Entry

“Dust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dust. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

dust 1 of 2

noun

1
a
: fine dry powdery particles (as of earth)
b
: a fine powder
2
: the powdery remains of bodies once alive
3
: something worthless
4
: the surface of the ground

dust

2 of 2

verb

1
: to make free of dust : brush or wipe away dust
dusted the living room
2
: to sprinkle with dust or as a dust
dust a pan with flour
dust insecticide on plants

More from Merriam-Webster on dust

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