1 of 2


filthier; filthiest
: covered with, containing, or characterized by filth
filthy streets
filthy dishes
: obscene
filthy language
filthily adverb
filthiness noun


2 of 2


: in a filthy manner
filthy dirty
: very, exceedingly
filthy rich
Choose the Right Synonym for filthy

dirty, filthy, foul, nasty, squalid mean conspicuously unclean or impure.

dirty emphasizes the presence of dirt more than an emotional reaction to it.

a dirty littered street

filthy carries a strong suggestion of offensiveness and typically of gradually accumulated dirt that begrimes and besmears.

a stained greasy floor, utterly filthy

foul implies extreme offensiveness and an accumulation of what is rotten or stinking.

a foul-smelling open sewer

nasty applies to what is actually foul or is repugnant to one expecting freshness, cleanliness, or sweetness.

it's a nasty job to clean up after a sick cat

In practice, nasty is often weakened to the point of being no more than a synonym of unpleasant or disagreeable.

had a nasty fall
his answer gave her a nasty shock

squalid adds to the idea of dirtiness and filth that of slovenly neglect.

squalid slums

All these terms are also applicable to moral uncleanness or baseness or obscenity.

dirty then stresses meanness or despicableness

don't ask me to do your dirty work

, while filthy and foul describe disgusting obscenity or loathsome behavior

filthy street language
a foul story of lust and greed

, and nasty implies a peculiarly offensive unpleasantness.

a stand-up comedian known for nasty humor

Distinctively, squalid implies sordidness as well as baseness and dirtiness.

engaged in a series of squalid affairs

Example Sentences

Adjective She's in a filthy mood. you cannot use such filthy language on the public airwaves Adverb the invention made him filthy rich
Recent Examples on the Web
Her home is often filthy, with dirty diapers and garbage strewn about., 16 Nov. 2022 Her home is often filthy, with dirty diapers and garbage strewn about. Raquel Rutledge, ProPublica, 16 Nov. 2022 Foodies, celebrity chefs, the filthy rich—this is low-hanging fruit for a satirist. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 16 Nov. 2022 The waste water after cleaning showed how filthy the rugs still were. Amy Schulman, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2022 Right-hander Bryan Abreu has been particularly filthy, with six scoreless outings and 10 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings while finding himself in increasingly higher-leverage roles. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 24 Oct. 2022 Prior to the incident, Williams told police the roommates were arguing over how filthy the victim left the apartment and whether the victim would be able to pay his share of the month's rent, per the outlet. Tristan Balagtas,, 5 Apr. 2022 There also were two parakeets in a cage in one of the bedrooms which was filled with bird waste and filth, the warrant said, and the general appearance of the house was extremely filthy. Christine Dempsey,, 28 Mar. 2022 As a result, even the famously filthy phone call between the two that caused a scandal when it was taped and released to the public feels surprisingly tender, a moment of idle romantic mischief between two middle-aged adults yearning for each other. Ashley Fetters Maloy, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'filthy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of filthy was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near filthy

Cite this Entry

“Filthy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


filthier; filthiest
: covered with or containing filth : disgustingly dirty

More from Merriam-Webster on filthy

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