\ ˈshmu̇ts How to pronounce schmutz (audio) \

Definition of schmutz

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 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, "The Only Kitchen Scrubbing Pad That Matters Is Homax Steel Wool," 24 Mar. 2020 After the schmutz is gone, a thorough spritzing with disinfectant can destroy any infectious stragglers. Katherine J. Wu, Popular Science, "Everything you need to know about cleaning public surfaces in a pandemic," 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, "This Fading Star Wasn’t on the Brink of Death After All—It Was Just Dusty," 13 Mar. 2020 No longer useful for missions and too cumbersome to move or destroy, space debris has spent the last six decades accumulating around our planet like a shroud of schmutz. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "The European Space Agency Is Sending a Robot to Hug Junk Out of Space," 12 Dec. 2019 Early results collected by astronomers in Spain, Poland, and the Netherlands show that visually, the object looks a lot like our solar system’s own comets, with a reddish surface made of a carbon-rich schmutz. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Interstellar comet starts coming into focus," 4 Oct. 2019 This bio-schmutz contains samples of the organisms' DNA, which then get mixed into the surrounding water and dirt. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Loch Ness Monster Hunters to Try DNA Search? Get the Facts.," 23 May 2018 Set designers painted on rust, dirtied air vents, and added a general patina of schmutz to the queue scenes, all in service of the story. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Universal Orlando's Fast & Furious – Supercharged: Does it live up to the movies?," 14 May 2018 Oumuamua, is probably coated with a carbon-rich schmutz in a layer that’s more than a foot thick. National Geographic, "Rock From Another Star System Has a Carbon-Rich Coating," 18 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'schmutz.' 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 schmutz

1838, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for schmutz

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about schmutz

Time Traveler for schmutz

Time Traveler

The first known use of schmutz was in 1838

See more words from the same year

Statistics for schmutz

Cite this Entry

“Schmutz.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on schmutz

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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