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un·​washed ˌən-ˈwȯsht How to pronounce unwashed (audio)
: not cleaned with or as if with soap and water
: ignorant, plebeian
the unwashed masses
unwashedness noun


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: an ignorant or underprivileged group : rabble
usually used with great
the great unwashed

Examples of unwashed in a Sentence

Adjective a sink full of unwashed dishes a TV producer who knew what the unwashed masses wanted—and unhesitatingly gave it to them Noun Aunt Edna was fond of snootily reminding us that we need not take our manners from the great unwashed.
Recent Examples on the Web
People can get sick from touching a turtle or anything in its environment and then touching their mouth or food with unwashed hands and swallowing salmonella germs. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 21 Aug. 2023 When the refrigerator is set to about 35 to 38° F, unwashed greens generally last about 7 to 10 days. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Aug. 2023 Ivan and Alyosha, Fyodor’s sons by his late second wife, were left unwashed and underfed. Jennifer Wilson, The New Yorker, 24 July 2023 The spread of disease -- person to person, through a sneeze or a loud exclamation, or via an unwashed surface -- has been a hot topic of conversation in recent years. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 8 Dec. 2022 Elon Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter has led to panic among prominent pundits and politicians horrified by prospect of Twitter amplifying the most radical voices of the unwashed online mob. Jacob McHangama, Time, 5 Dec. 2022 Suddenly, the unwashed body and blood notes felt real. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2022 To avoid your odds of mold, store unwashed raspberries in a shallow, breathable container in the refrigerator. Sarra Sedghi, Bon Appétit, 17 July 2023 How To Store Green Beans Store green beans, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Jasmine Smith, Southern Living, 21 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unwashed.' 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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unwashed was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near unwashed

Cite this Entry

“Unwashed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwashed. Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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