- soiled with dirt; foul; unclean: dirty laundry.
- spreading or imparting dirt; soiling: dirty smoke.
- vile; mean; sordid; contemptible: to play a dirty trick on someone.
- obscene; pornographic; lewd: a dirty joke.
- undesirable or unpleasant; thankless: He left the dirty work for me.
- very unfortunate or regrettable: That's a dirty shame!
- not fair or sportsmanlike; unscrupulous: a dirty fighter.
- hostile, insulting, contemptuous, or resentful: She gave me a dirty look. He made a dirty crack about the cooking.
- (of a nuclear weapon) producing a relatively large amount of radioactive fallout.
- (of the weather) stormy; squally: It looks dirty to windward.
- Informal. obtained through illegal or disreputable means: dirty money.
- appearing as if soiled; dark-colored; dingy; murky.
- Slang. using or in possession of narcotics.
- Foreign Exchange. (of currency floats) manipulated, as by a central bank influencing or changing exchange rates (opposed to clean).
- to make or become dirty.
- Informal. in a mean, unscrupulous, or underhand way: to play dirty.
- Informal. in a lewd manner: to talk dirty.
- do (someone) dirty, Slang. to treat unfairly or reprehensibly, as by cheating or slandering.
Origin of dirty
SynonymsSee more synonyms for dirty on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dirty
She is the author of Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime and Terrorism (Cambridge University Press).ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Growing Role of Human Trafficking in 21st Century Terrorism
Louise I. Shelley
December 26, 2014
I was so relieved, until I thought about my dirty pantyhose hanging on the shower at home.My Love Letter to the Stetson
December 24, 2014
If only Sulzberger had managed to keep a zipped upper lip while leaving the dirty work to anonymous underlings.The Bloodiest Media Coups of 2014
December 22, 2014
Not one Argentine Jesuit lost his life during the dirty war, and he managed to save dozens of people.How Pope Francis Became the World’s BFF
December 21, 2014
As Americans, we still have a right to air both our dirty laundry and our R-Rated films.Should the U.S. Really Pay a Kim’s Ransom?
December 21, 2014
If there's not some dirty business in this, I'll eat me hat.
Didn't Shandy always have a gob of it in his cheek—the dirty pig?
It was washing all the color out of the picture, and leaving it a dirty gray.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
Here in this dirty shanty you will enter into love's fulfillment.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
Pull it out, please, me hand's that dirty'—and out come the writ!The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
- covered or marked with dirt; filthy
- obscene; salaciousdirty books
- sexually clandestinea dirty weekend
- causing one to become grimya dirty job
- (of a colour) not clear and bright; impure
- unfair; dishonest; unscrupulous; unsporting
- mean; nastya dirty cheat
- scandalous; unkinda dirty rumour
- revealing dislike or angera dirty look
- (of weather) rainy or squally; stormy
- (of an aircraft) having projections into the airstream, such as lowered flaps
- (of an explosive device) modified to cause radioactive contaminationCompare clean (def. 5)
- be dirty on Australian slang to be offended by or be hostile towards
- dirty dog a despicable person
- dirty linen informal intimate secrets, esp those that might give rise to gossip
- dirty pool slang, mainly US, Canadian and Australian dishonest behaviour
- dirty word
- an obscene word
- something that is regarded with disapprovalfederalism is a dirty word
- dirty work unpleasant or illicit activity
- do the dirty on British informal to behave meanly or unkindly towards
- to make or become dirty; stain; soil
Word Origin and History for dirty
c.1500, from dirt + -y (2). Earlier dritty (late 14c.). Meaning "smutty, morally unclean" is from 1590s. Of colors, from 1690s. Dirty linen "personal or familial secrets" is first recorded 1860s. Dirty work in the figurative sense is from 1764; dirty trick is from 1670s. The dirty look someone gives you is from 1928; dirty old man "superannuated lecher" is from 1932. Related: dirtiness.
1590s, from dirty (adj.). Related: Dirtied; dirtying.
Idioms and Phrases with dirty
In addition to the idioms beginning with dirty
- dirty joke
- dirty look, give a
- dirty one's hands
- dirty tricks
- dirty work
- down and dirty
- wash one's dirty linen in public