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

Words nearby down-and-dirty

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use down-and-dirty in a sentence

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

Other 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.