adjective, din·gi·er, din·gi·est.

of a dark, dull, or dirty color or aspect; lacking brightness or freshness.
shabby; dismal.

Nearby words

  1. dinghy,
  2. dingle,
  3. dingleberry,
  4. dingo,
  5. dingus,
  6. dining,
  7. dining car,
  8. dining hall,
  9. dining room,
  10. dining table

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

British Dictionary definitions for dingy


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 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