Nearby words

  1. dirksen,
  2. dirksen, everett mckinley,
  3. dirl,
  4. dirndl,
  5. dirofilaria,
  6. dirt bag,
  7. dirt bike,
  8. dirt cheap,
  9. dirt dauber,
  10. dirt farm


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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dirt

British Dictionary definitions for dirt



any unclean substance, such as mud, dust, excrement, etc; filth
loose earth; soil
  1. packed earth, gravel, cinders, etc, used to make a racetrack
  2. (as modifier)a dirt track
mining the gravel or soil from which minerals are extracted
a person or thing regarded as worthless
obscene or indecent speech or writing
slang gossip; scandalous information
moral corruption
do someone dirt slang to do something vicious to someone
dish the dirt informal to spread malicious gossip
eat dirt slang to accept insult without complaining
treat someone like dirt to have no respect or consideration for someone

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for dirt



15c. metathesis of Middle English drit, drytt "mud, dirt, dung" (c.1300), from Old Norse drit, cognate with Old English dritan "to void excrement," from Proto-Germanic *dritanan (cf. Dutch drijten, Old High German trizan).

Used abusively of persons from c.1300. Meaning "gossip" first attested 1926 (in Hemingway); dirt bike is 1960s. Dirt-cheap is from 1821. Dirt road attested by 1852.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.