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View synonyms for dirty work

dirty work

noun

  1. disagreeable, often tedious tasks.
  2. any illegal or dishonest dealing.


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Idioms and Phrases

An unpleasant, distasteful, or thankless task or job. For example, Jane complained that she had to do all the dirty work while her colleagues took long vacations . [First half of 1900s]

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Example Sentences

“Just because you have one of your henchmen do your dirty work doesn’t make you any less responsible,” Geddes said.

There’s a gigantic immigration detention facility in southern Mexico, where Mexico does a lot of the dirty work of the United States by detaining people who’ve crossed the border with Guatemala.

From Vox

“I don’t want to do your dirty work for you,” she told the executives.

While venom usually does its dirty work via injection, there are some examples of cone snails releasing chemicals into the water column.

Instead, have to rely on Pikmin to do the dirty work for them.

If only Sulzberger had managed to keep a zipped upper lip while leaving the dirty work to anonymous underlings.

You just happen to come along after they have done the dirty work.

Armed with the gruesome tools of the trade, Kaye and Armstrong did the dirty work before students arrived.

But they also desperately wanted to have Jaruzelski do their dirty work for them—and he certainly obliged.

Preparing for retirement is “the why of politics, not merely optional dirty work.”

What if his father insisted upon his going to London, and doing any other dirty work which these fellows chose to put upon him?

I'm just Tom Walker, who they lay everything to, and who the boys expect to do all their dirty work for them.

Out in the West, from where I came, we have no policemen and magistrates at every corner, ready to do all our dirty work.

But if dirty work was done to you, Burkett would have been a handier tool for Fogg than a Stillson wrench in a plumbing job.

But it is dirty work crossing the sea; and there is always danger of falling into the hands of pirates.

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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

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