Definition of dirt noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɜːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɜːrt//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  any substance that makes something dirty, for example dust, soil or mud His clothes were covered in dirt. First remove any grease or dirt from the surface. The problem with white is that it soon shows the dirt.
  2. 2  (especially North American English) loose earth or soil He picked up a handful of dirt and threw it at them. Pack the dirt firmly round the plants. They lived in a shack with a dirt floor. Synonymssoilmud dust clay land earth dirt groundThese are all words for the top layer of the earth in which plants grow.soil the top layer of the earth in which plants grow:Plant the seedlings in damp soil.mud wet soil that is soft and sticky:The car wheels got stuck in the mud.dust a fine powder that consists of very small pieces of rock, earth, etc:A cloud of dust rose as the truck set off.clay a type of heavy sticky soil that becomes hard when it is baked and is used to make things such as pots and bricks:The tiles are made of clay.land an area of ground, especially of a particular type:an area of rich, fertile landearth the substance that plants grow in. Earth is often used about the soil found in gardens or used for gardening:She put some earth into the pot.dirt (especially North American English) soil, especially loose soil:Pack the dirt firmly around the plants.ground an area of soil:The car got stuck in the muddy ground. They drove across miles of rough, stony ground. Ground is not used for loose soil:a handful of dry groundPatterns good/​rich soil/​land/​earth fertile/​infertile soil/​land/​ground to dig the soil/​mud/​clay/​land/​earth/​ground to cultivate the soil/​land/​ground
  3. 3(informal) unpleasant or harmful information about somebody that could be used to damage their reputation, career, etc. Do you have any dirt on the new guy?
  4. 4(informal) = excrement dog dirt
  5. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old Norse drit ‘excrement’, an early sense in English.Extra examples Clean your face with soap to remove accumulated dirt and oil. Dirt had accumulated in the corners of the windows. He could dig up so much dirt on her. He grew up on a dirt farm in upstate New York. He had streaks of dirt all over his face. He landed hard on the packed dirt. He picked himself up off the cold dirt. He rubbed the dirt from his face. He swept the dirt out onto the porch. Her fingernails raked the soft dirt beneath her. His shoes were covered in dirt. I tried to rub off a dirt stain on my sleeve. Massage your scalp to loosen any dirt. Rose picked the ball up off the infield dirt. She brushed the loose dirt off her coat. She filled the hole with loose dirt. She just loves to dish the dirt. Sunlight steamed through the dirt particles in the air. The blow knocked him against the dirt wall. The front lawn has patches of bare dirt. The men started to shovel dirt into the open grave. The white rug really shows the dirt. They threw dirt into my face. They throw sticks and dirt clods up into the air. This material does not attract much dirt. We need to get some dirt on her. a couple of inches of fill dirt a floor of dry dirt children playing in the dirt the Palermo dirt course the dirt yard in front of the barn the mounds of fresh dirt over all the graves First remove any dirt from the surface. He picked up a handful of dry dirt. He’d been trying to dig up some dirt on his political rival. Pack the dirt firmly around the plants. We drove along a bumpy dirt road.Idioms
    dish the dirt (on somebody)
    jump to other results
    (informal) to tell people unkind or unpleasant things about somebody, especially about their private life She loves to dish the dirt on her sisters.
    treat somebody like dirt
    jump to other results
    (informal) to treat somebody with no respect at all They treat their workers like dirt.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: dirt