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

However, not all of us can be in Palm Springs at the same time surrounded by neon lights, cacti, dust, and millions of other people. Teen Vogue, "8 Coachella-Inspired Decor Pieces That Will Make Your Dorm Feel (And Look) Like Palm Springs," 12 Apr. 2019 Each three-to-four story structure contains work and living spaces and can withstand extreme temperatures, dust, and solar radiation. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Is This Inflatable City What Life Would Look Like on the Moon?," 11 Apr. 2019 An influx of tourists over the course of decades had inundated the tomb with humidity, dust, and carbon dioxide; scratches and abrasions were also threatening the longevity of the wall paintings. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "King Tut's Tomb Is Reopening—And This Time, It's Tourist-Proof," 1 Feb. 2019 The dust of passing traffic from nearby factories quickly soils the curtains, which the lady of the house tries to keep spotless. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "‘Clean Curtains’ and New Year’s Resolutions," 30 Dec. 2018 Get up, dust yourself off, and vow not to live this way anymore. Heather Havrilesky, The Cut, "‘I’m a Single Mom and My Friends Walk All Over Me’," 4 July 2018 The pixie dust, the halo around media moguls is still financially there anyway if not maybe there in the eyeballs. Eric Johnson, Recode, "‘The King of Content’ author Keach Hagey talks with Peter Kafka about Sumner Redstone’s crazy life," 28 June 2018 The return sample capsule, which landed in the Australian outback in June 2010, carried 1500 particles of asteroid dust, despite glitches with the sample collection mechanism. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Japan’s new asteroid probe reaches its target after 3.2-billion-kilometer journey," 27 June 2018 Clutter collects dust, creates stress and takes up space better used, say, to place a phone or a hot pot. Jane E. Brody, charlotteobserver, "How to age well and stay in your home," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Stop the spread of mold Items that have been sitting near the mold colony often are dusted with spores and growth. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Remove Mold From Wood Furniture and Particle Board," 9 Apr. 2019 Shawn says as a makeup artist dusts his eyelids with bright white glitter. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Shawn Mendes Gets a Glittery Makeover Backstage With Taylor Swift," 4 Aug. 2018 Rogers, a six-time NCAA champion for the Ducks, ran away with the women's 400, dusting a field that included two-time world indoor champion Francine Niyonsaba. Ken Goe, OregonLive.com, "Devon Allen and Raevyn Rogers put on a show at the Oregon Twilight track meet," 4 May 2018 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

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

18 May 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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