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[din-jee] /ˈdɪn dʒi/
adjective, dingier, dingiest.
of a dark, dull, or dirty color or aspect; lacking brightness or freshness.
shabby; dismal.
Origin of dingy
First recorded in 1730-40; origin uncertain
Related forms
dingily, adverb
dinginess, noun
Can be confused
dinghy, dingy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dinginess
Historical Examples
  • Every sail that loomed in the dinginess filled me with alarm.

    The Frozen Pirate W. Clark Russell
  • They are not reddish: they are brown, to which grease and dinginess add not a little.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • But his choice was to sit in rags and dinginess on a bench in a park.

    The Four Million

    O. Henry
  • God's Spirit met us in spite of cold and dinginess and needs.

  • But this dungeon had ample compensations for its darkness and dinginess.

    Capturing a Locomotive William Pittenger
  • Something was wrong with them: their dinginess or want of symmetry annoyed her.

    Carnival Compton Mackenzie
  • The rosette is typical of a curious character that the room has for all its dinginess.

    Woman Magdeleine Marx
  • This is what makes interesting the dinginess of the cantonment on the Isle of Dogs.

    Last Words Stephen Crane
  • I thought there would be a temporary dip into dinginess, but that was all.

    Soul of a Bishop H. G. Wells
  • The place appalled him—its gloom, its dinginess, its somber quiet.

    The Street of Seven Stars Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for dinginess


adjective -gier, -giest
lacking light or brightness; drab
dirty; discoloured
Derived Forms
dingily, adverb
dinginess, noun
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from an earlier dialect word related to Old English dynge dung
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dinginess



1736, Kentish dialect, "dirty," of uncertain origin, but perhaps related to dung. The noun dinge (1816) is a back-formation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dinginess



Goofy; loony: a dingy move

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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