: foul or putrid matter
especially : loathsome dirt or refuse
: moral corruption or defilement
: something that tends to corrupt or defile

Examples of filth in a Sentence

He emerged from the cellar covered in filth. the filth of the slaughterhouse living in filth and squalor
Recent Examples on the Web The landlord is now in the process of evicting him -- not only because of the lies, but also because the hoarding level of filth has damaged the house. Abigail Van Buren, cleveland, 12 Sep. 2023 Police said the home was layered in filth, trash was piled in the kitchen, and the living room was filled with garbage. Chris Ramirez, USA TODAY, 20 July 2023 City Hall says the water quality is already improving and that there are many more types of fish than the two or three species that were the only ones hardy enough to survive in the filth a few decades ago. John Leicester, Chicago Tribune, 11 Apr. 2023 After hours of interviews and a home tour, authorities determined the two boys had been living in a filth in a room locked from the outside. Chris Ramirez, USA TODAY, 20 July 2023 When Yusuf bumbles back into the front room, Mahmut scrambles to switch off the filth and return to Tarkovsky. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 May 2023 An anthropologist of filth, Berry was fascinated by bodily waste, fore and aft. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 4 May 2023 Pinball, banned by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1941 as youth-corrupting filth, hid in backrooms in New York City until the Music & Amusement Association convinced Sharpe to conduct a live demonstration that, if not for his dexterity with the silver ball, could have gone very differently. Adam Ruben, Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2023 Residents complain of filth, clogged plumbing, pest infestations and constant intrusions by street people who use drugs, set off fire alarms and sleep in hallways. Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Old English fȳlth, from fūl foul

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near filth

Cite this Entry

“Filth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: disgusting dirt or waste
: something that tends to disgust, offend, or dirty

More from Merriam-Webster on filth

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