down-and-dirty

[ doun-uhn-dur-tee ]
/ ˈdaʊn ənˈdɜr ti /

adjective Informal.

unscrupulous; nasty: a down-and-dirty election campaign.
earthy; funky.

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Origin of down-and-dirty

First recorded in 1985–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for down-and-dirty

down and dirty

adjective (down-and-dirty when prenominal) informal, mainly US

ruthlessly competitive or underhandif Bush gets down and dirty the Governor will give as good as he gets
uninhibited; frank
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

Idioms and Phrases with down-and-dirty

down and dirty

1

Vicious, not governed by rules of decency, as in The candidates are getting down and dirty early in the campaign. [Slang; early 1980s]

2

Very earthy, uninhibitedly sexual. For example, “L.A. club people rarely get down and dirty on a dance floor” (The New Yorker, May 21, 1990). [Late 1980s]

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