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

There’s a long history here, one that associates our natural style with being unkempt or unclean or unprofessional, and that needs to be tackled. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Dreadlocks, cornrows and other natural hairstyles now protected under California law," 28 Dec. 2018 Here, where much of the water was unclean and people often had to slosh knee-deep through mud and human waste. Gaia Vince, Quartz, "How to survive in the world’s largest refugee camp," 8 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 Sounds of shouting and struggle, then down the back staircase went the whooping gang encumbered by flailing, crew-cutted, unclean Bill Elder. Michael Lindsay-hogg, Town & Country, "Brando in a Blue Blazer," 22 Aug. 2013 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 Production equipment were covered in dirt and food debris and were unclean for multiple days during the inspection. Kristine Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "Egg farm responsible for salmonella outbreak had 'unacceptable rodent activity,' FDA report says," 16 May 2018 Powdered formula mixed with unclean water can be dangerous for babies. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, "Trump Stance on Breast-Feeding and Formula Criticized by Medical Experts," 9 July 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

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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