unclean

adjective

un·​clean ˌən-ˈklēn How to pronounce unclean (audio)
1
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
uncleanness 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 addition, inspectors said, various areas of the restaurant were unclean. Jacqueline Pinedo, Sacramento Bee, 5 Apr. 2024 Chicken breast, roast beef and turkey ham were outside of their proper holding temperatures on Wednesday, the report said, and the floors under the prep line were unclean. Jacqueline Pinedo, Sacramento Bee, 8 Mar. 2024 The story of Mallon holds many lessons, and the danger of unclean hands is one of them. Sabrina Sholts, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Mar. 2024 According to an analysis by Redfin, people are indeed moving out of areas with a higher risk of unclean air. Rachel Kurzius, Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2024 Advertisement In the era of dynastic kingdoms, cows were used as a valuable form of agricultural labor rather than food, and pigs were seen as unclean. Max Kim, Los Angeles Times, 15 Jan. 2024 And the reach-in cooler gaskets, hood filters, bottom of the reach-in freezer and cutting boards remained unclean. David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 26 Jan. 2024 Stomach flu can result from unclean food and water parasites and bacteria, such as E. coli, campylobacter, shigella, and Salmonella. Sofia Quaglia, Discover Magazine, 8 Dec. 2023 There's no access to food or any water, clean or unclean, in the areas they're being asked to evacuate to. ABC News, 5 Dec. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near unclean

Cite this Entry

“Unclean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unclean. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

unclean

adjective
un·​clean ˌən-ˈklēn How to pronounce unclean (audio)
1
: not pure and innocent : wicked
2
: prohibited by religious law for use or contact
3
uncleanness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on unclean

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