See more synonyms for dingy on Thesaurus.com

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 dingy

Contemporary Examples of dingy

Historical Examples of dingy

  • He drew his son into a little, low-browed, dingy room at the end of the hall.

  • All the ugly, dingy little urchins that I know have been invited.

  • He turned the knob and entered, advancing to the middle of the dingy room.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Old Dismukes was with them; burly, bushy, dingy, on a huge roan charger.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • All of the dingy street was ugly, but the greater part of it appeared to be honest.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for dingy


adjective -gier or -giest
  1. lacking light or brightness; drab
  2. 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 dingy

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