• synonyms


[uhn-wosht, -wawsht]
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  1. not cleaned or purified by or as if by washing: unwashed dishes; the unwashed soul of a sinner.
  2. pertaining to or characteristic of the common people; untutored, unsophisticated, or ignorant; plebeian: the power of the unwashed electorate.
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  1. (used with a plural verb) an ignorant or lower-class group; rabble (usually preceded by the): The author claimed that the unwashed would not understand his books.
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Origin of unwashed

1350–1400; Middle English; see un-1, washed
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for unwashed

average, base, baseborn, common, commonplace, docile, dutiful, everyday, gentle, humble, ignoble, low, mean, meek, menial, mild, modest, mundane, obscure, obsequious

Examples from the Web for unwashed

Contemporary Examples of unwashed

Historical Examples of unwashed

  • Unwashed and unshaven, he saunters moodily about, weary and dejected.

  • I was raked in by that adjective fool with the unwashed face.

  • The man was unwashed and unfed, and for many nights he had not slept.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • Dirty finger-prints were on the hall-windows, flue and rubbish on its unwashed boards.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • It lit his unshaven face from his unwashed brow to his chin.

British Dictionary definitions for unwashed


  1. not washed
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pl n
  1. the great unwashed jocular, derogatory the masses
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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 unwashed


late 14c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of wash (v.). Noun sense of "the lower class" is attested from 1830.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper