[ uhn-kleen ]
/ ʌnˈklin /

adjective, un·clean·er, un·clean·est.

not clean; dirty.
morally impure; evil; vile: unclean thoughts.
Chiefly Biblical. having a physical or moral blemish so as to make impure according to the laws, especially the dietary or ceremonial laws: an unclean animal; unclean persons.

Nearby words

  1. uncle tom,
  2. uncle tom's cabin,
  3. uncle tomism,
  4. uncle vanya,
  5. uncle-ji,
  6. uncleanly,
  7. unclear,
  8. unclench,
  9. uncloak,
  10. unclog

Origin of unclean

before 900; Middle English unclene, Old English unclǣne. See un-1, clean

Related formsun·clean·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for uncleanness

British Dictionary definitions for uncleanness


/ (ʌnˈkliːn) /


lacking moral, spiritual, ritual, or physical cleanliness
Derived Formsuncleanness, noun

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

Word Origin and History for uncleanness



Old English unclæne, "morally impure, defiled, unfit for food," from un- (1) "not" + clean (adj.). Literal sense of "dirty" is recorded from mid-13c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper