adjective, din·gi·er, din·gi·est.

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 formsdin·gi·ly, adverbdin·gi·ness, noun
Can be confuseddinghy dingy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dinginess

Historical Examples of dinginess

  • Every sail that loomed in the dinginess filled me with alarm.

    The Frozen Pirate

    W. Clark Russell

  • Kincaid's Battery 'doesn't want to parade its dinginess till it's done something'--pure vanity!

    Kincaid's Battery

    George W. Cable

  • As for the furnishings, Georgiana looked about her with an appraising eye which took in all their dinginess.

    Under the Country Sky

    Grace S. Richmond

  • There was the same colour of paint on the walls, which had been so managed as to represent the dinginess of antiquity.

    Rivers of Ice

    R.M. Ballantyne

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


    Magdeleine Marx

British Dictionary definitions for dinginess


adjective -gier or -giest

lacking light or brightness; drab
dirty; discoloured
Derived Formsdingily, adverbdinginess, noun

Word Origin for dingy

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

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