un·​clean | \ ˌən-ˈklēn How to pronounce unclean (audio) \

Definition of unclean

1 : dirty, filthy
2 : morally or spiritually impure
3 : infected with a harmful supernatural contagion also : prohibited by ritual law for use or contact
4 : lacking in clarity and precision of conception or execution

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Other Words from unclean

uncleanness \ ˌən-​ˈklēn-​nəs How to pronounce unclean (audio) \ noun

Examples of unclean in a Sentence

Many of their health problems were caused by unclean living conditions. there's something unclean about this whole business
Recent Examples on the Web In this system, literal dirt in the form of blood or coal helps mark the morally compromised worker as unclean. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, 10 Sep. 2021 Establishments can also be dinged for unclean or unsanitized food services or for evidence of vermin. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 June 2021 Shelves and table holding cooking equipment is visibly unclean. Arkansas Online, 9 May 2021 This typically manifests itself as an unclean hands argument: some statement or person that’s part of the mainstream, consensus narrative is found to have done something untrue or unethical, and therefore the entire narrative can be dismissed. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 3 June 2021 The Seven Canyons Fountain, a popular place with kids who would splash and wade in it, was turned off in 2017 because of potential public health risks from unclean water. Sara Tabin, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 May 2021 Counter top near grill in kitchen is unclean and needs to be cleaned. Pine Bluff Commercial, Arkansas Online, 30 May 2021 Spessard attested to the fact that using unclean implements or surfaces can contaminate DNA evidence. James Whitlow, baltimoresun.com, 11 May 2021 Three compartment sink is unclean and needs to be cleaned. Arkansas Online, 9 May 2021

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

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First Known Use of unclean

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for unclean

Time Traveler

The first known use of unclean was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unclean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unclean. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for unclean



English Language Learners Definition of unclean

: not clean : dirty
: not innocent and good : morally impure
: not allowed to be used by religious law


un·​clean | \ ˌən-ˈklēn How to pronounce unclean (audio) \

Kids Definition of unclean

2 : not pure and innocent
3 : not allowed for use by religious law

More from Merriam-Webster on unclean

Nglish: Translation of unclean for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unclean for Arabic Speakers


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