un·clean | \ ˌən-ˈklēn \

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 \ 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

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 For a restaurant, this could include providing a link to a health department grade or report if somebody falsely accuses the restaurant of being unclean. Damian J. Troise, USA TODAY, "How should businesses respond to bad reviews? Tips to combat negative social media," 7 July 2018 So unclean that a church visit wouldn’t be out of the question. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: Insanely scary 'Hereditary' isn't easy to shake off," 7 June 2018 Unlike Hepatitis C which requires blood-to-blood contact for transmission, Hepatitis A can be transmitted from food handlers spreading the disease through unclean hands. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "What you need to know: Indiana Burger King worker with Hepatitis A handled food while sick," 6 June 2018 For some three decades, the Carter Center has led the international campaign to wipe out guinea worm disease, a painfully debilitating parasitic condition which occurs when people ingest larvae in unclean water. Jill Vejnoska, ajc, "Hank Aaron, Ted Turner help honor Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter," 10 May 2018 The hepatitis A virus is shed in feces and is most commonly spread by unclean hands contaminated with feces. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Hepatitis A exposure reported at West Bloomfield High School luncheon," 2 May 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 2018

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 \

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

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to make amends

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