nasty

adjective
nas·ty | \ˈna-stē \
nastier; nastiest

Definition of nasty 

1a : disgustingly filthy nasty living conditions

b : physically repugnant a nasty taste

2 : indecent, obscene nasty language

3 : mean, tawdry living a cheap and nasty life— G. B. Shaw

4a : extremely hazardous (see hazardous sense 2) or harmful a nasty undertow

b : causing severe pain or suffering a nasty wound a nasty fall

c : sharply unpleasant : disagreeable nasty weather

5a : difficult to understand or deal with a nasty problem a nasty curveball

b : psychologically unsettling : trying a nasty fear that she was lost

6 : lacking in courtesy or sportsmanship a nasty trick

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from nasty

nastily \ˈna-stə-lē \ adverb
nastiness \ˈna-stē-nəs \ noun
nasty noun

Choose the Right Synonym for nasty

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

Examples of nasty in a Sentence

She has a nasty habit of biting her fingernails. The medicine left a nasty taste in my mouth. That nasty old man yelled at me just for stepping on his lawn! He sent a nasty letter to the company. She's got quite a nasty temper. He said lots of downright nasty things about her. She called him a few nasty names and left.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

One thing that might be nastier and even less fun would be getting sick because of parasites. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "McDonald's Salads Possibly Linked to Parasite," 13 July 2018 Fighting becomes a problem if the arguments are nasty and result in personal attacks, leaving both partners feeling drained and small. Brianna Mcgurran, The Seattle Times, "How to fight about money and stay madly in love," 10 July 2018 The robot is in a deep sleep, thanks to a particularly nasty dust storm that’s blocking sunlight from hitting its solar panels. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA’s Opportunity rover is in a deep sleep on Mars — but there’s hope it will wake up again," 13 June 2018 Meanwhile, four Republicans are vying for the GOP nomination in a race that has turned nasty ahead of Tuesday’s voting. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Three key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries -- results will shape fall battle for Congress," 4 June 2018 And this is a particularly nasty strain of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157:H7. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak update: 98 sick in 22 states, only one source known | Miami Herald," 27 Apr. 2018 Two months into the season, the games turned nasty. Rich Cohen, The Atlantic, "The Mobster Who Bought His Son a Hockey Team," 14 Apr. 2018 There were some pitches today that were pretty nasty. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Surprise Five: Austin on minds of many in Rangers camp | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 20 Mar. 2018 The Democratic primary in Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin district has turned nasty, as the initial favorite, Randy Bryce, finds himself on the defensive against local school board member Cathy Myers. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Kavanaugh’s paper trail makes his confirmation harder but ensures he’ll be reliably conservative," 10 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of nasty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for nasty

Middle English

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nasty

nasty

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of nasty

: very unpleasant to see, smell, taste, etc.

: indecent and offensive

: unpleasant and unkind

nasty

adjective
nas·ty | \ˈna-stē \
nastier; nastiest

Kids Definition of nasty

1 : mean entry 2 sense 1 He has a nasty disposition.

2 : very unpleasant nasty weather a nasty taste

3 : very serious : harmful I had a nasty fall on the ice.

4 : very dirty : filthy

5 : indecent nasty jokes

Other Words from nasty

nastily \ˈna-stə-lē \ adverb
nastiness \ˈna-stē-nəs \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nasty

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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