- 1 not clean dirty hands/clothes a dirty mark Try not to get too dirty! I always get given the dirty jobs (= jobs that make you become dirty). Synonymsdirtydusty filthy muddy soiled grubby stainedThese words all describe somebody/something that is not clean.dirty not clean; covered with dust, soil, mud, oil, etc:If your hands are dirty, go and wash them.dusty full of dust; covered with dust:There were shelves full of dusty books.filthy 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 (rather formal) dirty, especially with waste from the body:soiled nappies/diapersgrubby (rather informal) rather dirty, usually because it has not been washed:He hoped she wouldn’t notice his grubby shirt cuffs.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 offensive
- 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). unpleasant/dishonest
- 3[usually before noun] (informal) 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). colours
- 4[only before noun] dull a dirty brown carpet drugs
- 5(North American English, slang) using illegal drugs Extra examples Everything in the room was incredibly dirty. Go and play football if you like, but don’t get dirty! He’s not frightened of getting his hands dirty. The soot had made everything dirty. He always gets someone else to do the dirty work for him. I always get given the dirty jobs. If your hands are dirty, go and wash them. My thumb had left a dirty mark on the paper. She always gets other people to do her dirty work for her. She’s a dirty player. The dirty clothes go in the washing machine. You dirty liar!Idioms to be a subject or an idea that people think is bad or immoral Profit is not a dirty word around here. (to do) the unpleasant or dishonest jobs that somebody else does not want to do Next time you can get somebody else to do your dirty work for you! (British English, informal) to cheat somebody who trusts you; to treat somebody badly or unfairly I'd never do the dirty on my friends.
- 1behaving in an unfair or aggressive way, especially because you want to win The candidate again got down and dirty with his rival. The online campaign was getting down and dirty.
- 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. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet.