US slang
: a filthy or soiling substance (such as mud, dust, or grime) : dirt
… what's a little schmutz to a New Yorker? That's why we have immune systems.Discover
What to watch while wiping some schmutz off your million dollar face with a hundred dollar bill in the presence of an attractive young lady …Deadspin
… point out the schmutz on a classmate's shirt.Jonathan Marks

Examples of schmutz in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The brown schmutz was once protein-rich tissue. National Geographic, 15 Sep. 2020 The other is that the parasite’s egg is unbelievably hardy and damn near resistant to nearly all of our arsenals against eradicating grime, schmutz and filth. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 29 Mar. 2012 But almost every home needs one to pick up stray pieces of schmutz. Wired, 27 Nov. 2021 Seriously Sometimes even presidents get some schmutz on their chin. New York Times, 31 July 2021 Give all the citrus a good scrub under cold water to get any schmutz off, and then use a vegetable peeler to remove wide strips of the zest from that grapefruit, all those limes, and three of the lemons. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, 30 June 2021 For truly tough stuff—oven racks, grill grates, stovetops, the inside of your oven—get yourself some #2 steel wool, which will coarsely cut through thick layers of scuzzy schmutz like an industrial street sweeper. Carla Lalli Music, Bon Appétit, 24 Mar. 2020 After the schmutz is gone, a thorough spritzing with disinfectant can destroy any infectious stragglers. Katherine J. Wu, Popular Science, 16 Mar. 2020 After observing the star on February 14, the researchers found the star ran just as hot as usual, leaving—by process of elimination—the possibility of stellar schmutz, produced by Betelgeuse itself. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Mar. 2020 See More

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

Word History


Yiddish shmuts & German Schmutz, from Middle High German smutzen to soil, damage

First Known Use

1838, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of schmutz was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near schmutz

Cite this Entry

“Schmutz.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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