[ doun-uh n-dur-tee ]
/ ˈdaʊn ənˈdɜr ti /

adjective Informal.

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

Origin of down-and-dirty

First recorded in 1985–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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


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


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.