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 uncleanness (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

Furthermore, yoga is practiced on the floor, and tracking in dirt makes the studio unclean. Elizabeth Chang, Washington Post, "12 etiquette tips for yoga class — and the reasons behind them," 4 Sep. 2019 But city officials and local businesses have acknowledged that the area still has unclean streets and a high crime rate. Shwanika Narayan, SFChronicle.com, "Developers buy empty 6X6 mall in San Francisco’s Mid-Market," 1 Aug. 2019 Circa Survive again changed the pace with a thrilling set of clean and unclean vocals from Anthony Green. Houston Chronicle, "Disrupt Festival brings high energy, emo back to Houston," 27 June 2019 China said its decision was based on environmental concerns and high rates of trash and unclean materials mixed with American recyclables. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "How a decision by the Chinese government reverberates into your Anchorage recycling bin," 6 June 2019 The result has been both overt and covert messages that periods, and those having them, are unclean. Teen Vogue, "Period Taboo and Menstrual Cups in the Black Community," 15 Nov. 2018 Disgust involves the thought that something is contaminating, unclean. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "Our summer of fear: A conversation with Chicago philosopher Martha Nussbaum," 9 July 2018 In male-only sumo, women are considered ritually unclean and are banned from the dohyo, which is considered sacred. Washington Post, "Japan mayor saved by nurse says female sumo ban irrelevant," 29 June 2018 Ralls defined a puppy mill as a high-volume, commercial breeder that places profit over the welfare of its animals, which get little care or exercise and are often housed in crowded unclean pens. Stephen Hudak, OrlandoSentinel.com, "American Kennel Club cites 'grave concerns' with Orange County proposal to ban sale of animals bred in 'puppy mills'," 5 June 2018

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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Statistics for unclean

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for unclean

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on unclean

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unclean

Spanish Central: Translation of unclean

Nglish: Translation of unclean for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unclean for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unclean

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readily or continually undergoing change

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