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unwashed

[uhn-wosht, -wawsht]
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adjective
  1. not cleaned or purified by or as if by washing: unwashed dishes; the unwashed soul of a sinner.
  2. pertaining to or characteristic of the common people; untutored, unsophisticated, or ignorant; plebeian: the power of the unwashed electorate.
noun
  1. (used with a plural verb) an ignorant or lower-class group; rabble (usually preceded by the): The author claimed that the unwashed would not understand his books.

Origin of unwashed

1350–1400; Middle English; see un-1, washed
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unwashed

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Unwashed and unshaven, he saunters moodily about, weary and dejected.

  • I was raked in by that adjective fool with the unwashed face.

  • The man was unwashed and unfed, and for many nights he had not slept.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • Dirty finger-prints were on the hall-windows, flue and rubbish on its unwashed boards.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • It lit his unshaven face from his unwashed brow to his chin.


British Dictionary definitions for unwashed

unwashed

adjective
  1. not washed
pl n
  1. the great unwashed jocular, derogatory the masses
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

Word Origin and History for unwashed

adj.

late 14c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of wash (v.). Noun sense of "the lower class" is attested from 1830.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper