dirty (adj.)

"of or imparting filth," early 15c. metathesis of dritty "feculent; muddy" (late 14c.), from dirt + -y (2). Sense of characterized by dirt, unclean" is from 16c. Meaning "smutty, morally unclean" is from 1590s. Of colors, from 1690s. Sense of "not streamlined; rough, untidy, or imperfect" is by 1925. Of atomic bombs, "producing much radioactive fallout," by 1956.

Dirty linen "personal or familial secrets" is first recorded 1860s. Dirty work in the figurative sense is from 1764; dirty trick is from 1670s. Dirty joke is by 1856. The dirty look someone gives you is by 1923; dirty old man "superannuated lecher" is from 1932. Related: dirtiness.

dirty (v.)

"to defile; make filthy," 1590s, from dirty (adj.). Related: Dirtied; dirtying.

updated on September 05, 2018

Definitions of dirty from WordNet
dirty (adj.)
violating accepted standards or rules;
a dirty fighter
dirty (adj.)
soiled or likely to soil with dirt or grime;
a child in dirty overalls
mining is a dirty job
Cinderella did the dirty work while her sisters preened themselves
dirty unswept sidewalks
put his dirty feet on the clean sheet
dirty slums
piles of dirty dishes
Synonyms: soiled / unclean
dirty (adj.)
(of behavior or especially language) characterized by obscenity or indecency;
a dirty old man
dirty books and movies
boys telling dirty jokes
dirty words
has a dirty mouth
dirty (adj.)
vile; despicable;
a dirty (or lousy) trick
Synonyms: filthy / lousy
dirty (adj.)
spreading pollution or contamination; especially radioactive contamination;
a dirty bomb releases enormous amounts of long-lived radioactive fallout
the air near the foundry was always dirty
Synonyms: contaminating
dirty (adj.)
contaminated with infecting organisms; "obliged to go into infected rooms"- Jane Austen;
dirty wounds
Synonyms: pestiferous
dirty (adj.)
(of color) discolored by impurities; not bright and clear; "dirty" is often used in combination;
a dirty (or dingy) white
dirty-green walls
dirty-blonde hair
Synonyms: dingy / muddied / muddy
dirty (adj.)
(of a manuscript) defaced with changes;
foul (or dirty) copy
Synonyms: foul / marked-up
dirty (adj.)
obtained illegally or by improper means;
dirty money
Synonyms: ill-gotten
dirty (adj.)
expressing or revealing hostility or dislike;
dirty looks
dirty (adj.)
unethical or dishonest;
dirty police officers
Synonyms: sordid / shoddy
dirty (adj.)
unpleasantly stormy;
there's dirty weather in the offing
dirty (v.)
make soiled, filthy, or dirty;
Synonyms: soil / begrime / grime / colly / bemire
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.