[ nas-tee ]
See synonyms for: nastynastiness on

adjective,nas·ti·er, nas·ti·est.
  1. physically filthy; disgustingly unclean: a nasty pigsty of a room.

  2. offensive to taste or smell; nauseating: This ointment is really nasty—couldn't they make it smell less vile?

  1. offensive; objectionable: a nasty habit.

  2. vicious, spiteful, or unkind: a nasty dog;a nasty rumor.

  3. bad or hard to deal with, encounter, undergo, etc.; dangerous; serious: a nasty cut;a nasty accident.

  4. very unpleasant or disagreeable: nasty weather.

  5. morally filthy; obscene; indecent: a nasty word.

  6. Slang. formidable: the raw, nasty power of this engine;a young pitcher with a nasty slider.

noun,plural nas·ties.
  1. Informal. a nasty person or thing.

Origin of nasty

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, further origin unknown

Other words for nasty

Opposites for nasty

Other words from nasty

  • nas·ti·ly, adverb
  • nas·ti·ness, noun

Other definitions for -nasty (2 of 2)


  1. a combining form with the meaning “nastic pressure,” of the kind or in the direction specified by the initial element: hyponasty.

Origin of -nasty

<Greek nast(ós) pressed close (see nastic) + -y3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use nasty in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nasty (1 of 2)


/ (ˈnɑːstɪ) /

adjective-tier or -tiest
  1. unpleasant, offensive, or repugnant

  2. (of an experience, condition, etc) unpleasant, dangerous, or painful: a nasty wound

  1. spiteful, abusive, or ill-natured

  2. obscene or indecent

  3. nasty piece of work British informal a cruel or mean person

nounplural -ties
  1. an offensive or unpleasant person or thing: a video nasty

Origin of nasty

C14: origin obscure; probably related to Swedish dialect nasket and Dutch nestig dirty

Derived forms of nasty

  • nastily, adverb
  • nastiness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for -nasty (2 of 2)


n combining form
  1. indicating a nastic movement to a certain stimulus: nyctinasty

Origin of -nasty

from Greek nastos pressed down, close-pressed

Derived forms of -nasty

  • -nastic, adj combining form

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