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[duhs-ter] /ˈdʌs tər/
a person or thing that removes or applies dust.
a cloth, brush, etc., for removing dust.
a lightweight housecoat.
an apparatus or device for sprinkling dust, powder, insecticide, or the like, especially on plants.
a person employed in spreading insecticidal dusts or the like on crops from a low-flying plane.
a long, light overgarment, worn especially in the early days of open automobiles to protect the clothing from dust.
a summer-weight coat for women that is loose-fitting and often unlined.
Baseball. a ball purposely thrown by a pitcher at or dangerously close to a batter.
(initial capital letter) Military. a self-propelled U.S. antiaircraft gun of the 1950s, armed with twin 40mm cannon.
Origin of duster
First recorded in 1570-80; dust + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for duster
Historical Examples
  • He has all his housework there, a broom and a duster, and I dare say he has a cooking-stove and a gridiron.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • Ilona in the best bedroom was busy as usual with duster and brush.

    A Bride of the Plains

    Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • She turned as she spoke, and busied herself with a duster where there was no need for it.

    Gilian The Dreamer Neil Munro
  • He put on his hat and duster and he delivered the letter to Garcia.

    Dollars and Sense Col. Wm. C. Hunter
  • When I go near the rubbish with my duster he trembles like an aspen.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • She could see the chauffeur, in his duster and goggles, standing in the road, too.

    A Little Miss Nobody

    Amy Bell Marlowe
  • He was a tall, spare man, and he preached in a long linen "duster."

    When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens
  • She threw the duster on a chair, left the room and went to the kitchen.

    The Ghost Girl H. De Vere Stacpoole
  • A yawning maid was at work in one of the parlors with a duster.

    The Girl from Sunset Ranch Amy Bell Marlowe
  • I found out that she bought a duster like the disguise the two men saw her in.

British Dictionary definitions for duster


a cloth used for dusting furniture, etc US name dust cloth
a machine for blowing out dust over trees or crops
a person or thing that dusts
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 duster

1570s, "dust brush for clothes," agent noun from dust (v.). Meaning "sifter" is from 1660s; that of "cloth worn to keep off dust" is from 1864.

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



  1. A pitch purposely thrown at or close to the batter to intimidate him or force him back from the plate; brushback (1920s+ Baseball)
  2. The buttocks

Related Terms


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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