dust·​ing | \ ˈdə-stiŋ How to pronounce dusting (audio) \
plural dustings

Definition of dusting

1 : the act of making something clean by brushing or wiping away dirt and dust from the surface The furniture needs a good dusting.
2a : a small amount of something that falls or is sprinkled over a surface During summer, the cracked floor looks prehistoric under the desert sun; during winter, it's intermittently covered by sheets of ice and dustings of snow.— Joseph Stromberg Add pearl onions, mushrooms, and a dusting of marjoram.— Hali Ramdene
b : a faint or slight quality or amount … sporting a dusting of stubble, DiSpirito runs Union Pacific, a paragon of gilded, inventive Manhattan dining.— James Poniewozik

First Known Use of dusting

1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dusting

Statistics for dusting

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dusting

The first known use of dusting was in 1681

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dusting



English Language Learners Definition of dusting

: the act of making something clean by brushing or wiping away dirt and dust from the surface
: a small amount of something that falls over a surface

More from Merriam-Webster on dusting

Nglish: Translation of dusting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dusting for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dusting

What made you want to look up dusting? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!