American English

Definition of dirty adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (dirtier, dirtiest)
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    not clean
  1. 1not clean dirty hands/clothes a dirty mark Try not to get too dirty! I always get the dirty jobs (= jobs that make you become dirty).
  2. offensive
  3. 2[usually before noun] connected with sex in an offensive way a dirty joke/book He's got a dirty mind (= he often thinks about sex).
  4. unpleasant/dishonest
  5. 3[usually before noun] unpleasant or dishonest a dirty lie She's a dirty player. He's a great man for doing the dirty jobs (= jobs which are unpleasant because they involve being dishonest or mean to people).
  6. colors
  7. 4[only before noun] dull a dirty brown carpet
  8. drugs
  9. 5(slang) using illegal drugs
  10. Thesaurusdirtydusty filthy muddy soiled grubby stainedThese words all describe someone or something that is not clean.dirty not clean; covered with dust, soil, mud, oil, etc:Put your dirty clothes in the hamper.dusty full of dust; covered with dust:shelves full of dusty booksfilthy very dirty and unpleasant:It's absolutely filthy in here.muddy full of or covered in mud:Don't you come in here with those muddy boots on!soiled (somewhat formal) dirty, especially with waste from the body:soiled diapersgrubby (somewhat informal) somewhat dirty, usually because it has not been washed:He hoped she wouldn't notice his grubby fingernails.stained (often in compounds) covered with stains; marked with a stain (= a dirty mark that is difficult to remove):a pair of paint-stained jeansPatterns dirty/dusty/filthy/muddy/soiled/grubby/stained clothes dirty/dusty/filthy/grubby hands a dirty/dusty/filthy room to get dirty/dusty/filthy/muddy/stainedIdioms
    air your dirty laundry/linen in public (disapproving)
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    to discuss your personal affairs in public, especially something embarrassing
    be a dirty word
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    to be a subject or an idea that people think is bad or immoral Profit is not a dirty word around here.
    (do somebody's) dirty work
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    (to do) the unpleasant or dishonest jobs that someone else does not want to do Next time you can get someone else to do your dirty work for you!
      down and dirty (informal)
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    1. 1behaving in an unfair or aggressive way, especially because you want to win The candidate got down and dirty again with his rival. The online campaign was getting down and dirty.
    2. 2rude and shocking The singer got down and dirty at the club last night and made headlines again. The singers are a down-and-dirty duo from Ohio.
    get your hands dirty (also dirty your hands)
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    to do physical or difficult work He's not frightened of getting his hands dirty.
    give somebody a dirty look
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    to look at someone in a way that shows you are annoyed with them
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: dirty