American English

Definition of grubby adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (grubbier, grubbiest)
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  1. 1fairly dirty, usually because it has not been washed or cleaned grubby hands/clothes 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/stained
  2. 2unpleasant because it involves activities that are dishonest or immoral synonym sordid a grubby scandal
noun [uncountable]
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: grubby