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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
However, drinking water may only be responsible for about 20% of exposure, with the most significant exposures coming from food, dust and other sources, Andrews said. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 8 Apr. 2024 Nose hairs protect the delicate tissues of the nasal cavity and lungs from airborne irritants and pollutants, such as dust and pollen. Lindsay Modglin, Verywell Health, 8 Apr. 2024 Prolonged exposure to airborne asbestos fibers and dust can lead to a lung disease called asbestosis, which causes thickening and scarring of the lungs, resulting in difficulty breathing. Elizabeth B. Kim, The Enquirer, 7 Apr. 2024 Eclipses aren't known for shedding solar particles or moon dust that drifts down to coat us. The Arizona Republic, 7 Apr. 2024 This tells us it's certified to be both dustproof (complete protection against sand, dirt, and dust) and waterproof to a depth of 3 feet for up to 30 minutes. PCMAG, 6 Apr. 2024 Semiconductor chips are notorious for their finicky electrical properties and are more sensitive to light, dust, and particle contaminants. Sasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 3 Apr. 2024 It is shut out, like other things, that come from outdoors: dust, heat and bad news. Hazlitt, 3 Apr. 2024 The vacuum is equipped with three suction modes (eco, mid, and max) that can efficiently snatch up dust, dirt, pet hair, crumbs, and other grime. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 28 Mar. 2024
Verb
The camera goes spinning in loops, pastel crystals jut out everywhere, a mountain range is dusted pink and purple just because. Amy Nicholson, Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2024 In the winter, the snow dusts the iconic red rocks, which make for an otherworldly scene. Kaely Monahan, The Arizona Republic, 25 Mar. 2024 Several mountains outside the Southern Sierra were dusted with snow. Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2024 Simply dust it regularly to keep up its shiny appearance, and immediately wash it with mild soap and water to remove spills. Andrea Wurzburger, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Feb. 2024 Thick gray clouds scudded overhead, dumping flakes and dusting everything with a fresh coat of powder. Michael Charboneau, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 Powdered sugar has been ground to a fine powder to dissolve almost instantly and is used for frostings and dusting cookies and brownies. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 21 Mar. 2024 And Perry gets major props for dusting them off and giving them a go. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 7 Mar. 2024 Does this mean the month’s full moon, dubbed the snow moon, will rise to a region dusted in snow? David Montesino, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dust.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 22 Apr. 2024.

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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