un·​washed | \ ˌən-ˈwȯsht How to pronounce unwashed (audio) , -ˈwäsht\

Definition of unwashed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not cleaned with or as if with soap and water
2 : ignorant, plebeian the unwashed masses



Definition of unwashed (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from unwashed


unwashedness noun

Examples of unwashed in a Sentence


a sink full of unwashed dishes a TV producer who knew what the unwashed masses wanted—and unhestitatingly gave it to them


Aunt Edna was fond of snootily reminding us that we need not take our manners from the great unwashed.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Taking in the squalor, the stench of unwashed bodies, and the poor health and vacant eyes of the hundreds of children held there, the group members appeared stunned. Ginger Thompson, ProPublica, "A Border Patrol Agent Reveals What It’s Really Like to Guard Migrant Children," 16 July 2019 Keeping migrant kids underfed and unwashed in crowded conditions is wrong. Shirley Leung, BostonGlobe.com, "Business as usual was a bad look for Wayfair execs," 26 June 2019 Food poisoning, in their experience, is an excuse that is wildly overused, suggesting an ominous world in which the average diner must be under near-constant attack from armies of raw chicken and bombardments of unwashed lettuce leaves. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Why you should never tell the boss you have food poisoning," 21 June 2019 Newer, unwashed garments tend to shed more lint than clothing that’s been washed and worn before, Dr. Goldbach says, because the loosest fibers have typically already come off in the wash. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Excuse Me, What Even Is Belly Button Lint?," 1 Mar. 2019 But dirty stethoscopes carry as many germs as unwashed hands, some infection-control specialists say. Lucette Lagnado, WSJ, "Hospitals Step Up the War on Superbugs," 8 Sep. 2018 Most of the women at the OSRW10K are amateur runners, with day jobs and grocery lists and an unwashed load of laundry at home. Pia Peterson, New York Times, "Road Race of the Superwomen," 5 July 2018 Brussels Sprouts For best results, keep unwashed Brussels sprouts in a plastic bag in your fridge. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Store Pretty Much Any Kind of Produce," 25 June 2018 Bell Peppers The pepper farmers at Baloian Farms say that the best way to store bell peppers is in the fridge, unwashed. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Store Pretty Much Any Kind of Produce," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unwashed.' 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 unwashed


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1830, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unwashed

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unwashed

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

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More Definitions for unwashed



English Language Learners Definition of unwashed

: not clean : not washed


un·​washed | \ ˌən-ˈwȯsht How to pronounce unwashed (audio) , -ˈwäsht\

Kids Definition of unwashed

: not having been washed : dirty unwashed grapes unwashed dishes

More from Merriam-Webster on unwashed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unwashed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unwashed

Spanish Central: Translation of unwashed

Comments on unwashed

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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