[ durt ]
See synonyms for dirt on Thesaurus.com
  1. any foul or filthy substance, as mud, grime, dust, or excrement.

  2. earth or soil, especially when loose.

  1. something or someone vile, mean, or worthless: After that last outburst of hers I thought she was dirt.

  2. moral filth; vileness; corruption.

  3. obscene or lewd language: to talk dirt.

  4. Informal. gossip, especially of a malicious, lurid, or scandalous nature: Tell me all the latest dirt.

  5. private or personal information which if made public would create a scandal or ruin the reputation of a person, company, etc.

  6. Mining.

    • crude, broken ore or waste.

    • (in placer mining) the material from which gold is separated by washing.

Idioms about dirt

  1. do (someone) dirt. dirty (def. 18).

  2. eat dirt, Informal. to accept blame, guilt, criticism, or insults without complaint; humble or abase oneself: The prosecutor seemed determined to make the defendant eat dirt.

Origin of dirt

1250–1300; Middle English dirt, drit; cognate with Old Norse drit excrement; compare Old English drītan

Other words for dirt

Words Nearby dirt

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dirt in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dirt


/ (dɜːt) /

  1. any unclean substance, such as mud, dust, excrement, etc; filth

  2. loose earth; soil

    • packed earth, gravel, cinders, etc, used to make a racetrack

    • (as modifier): a dirt track

  1. mining the gravel or soil from which minerals are extracted

  2. a person or thing regarded as worthless

  3. obscene or indecent speech or writing

  4. slang gossip; scandalous information

  5. moral corruption

  6. do someone dirt slang to do something vicious to someone

  7. dish the dirt informal to spread malicious gossip

  8. eat dirt slang to accept insult without complaining

  9. treat someone like dirt to have no respect or consideration for someone

Origin of dirt

C13: from Old Norse drit excrement; related to Middle Dutch drēte

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with dirt


In addition to the idiom beginning with dirt

  • dirt cheap
  • dirty joke
  • dirty look, give a
  • dirty one's hands
  • dirty tricks
  • dirty work

also see:

  • dig up (dirt)
  • dish the dirt
  • eat crow (dirt)
  • hit the deck (dirt)
  • pay dirt
  • treat like dirt

Also see underdirty.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.