Meaning of DIRTY in English


transcription, транскрипция: [ dɜ:(r)ti ]

( dirtier, dirtiest, dirties, dirtying, dirtied)

Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English.


If something is dirty , it is marked or covered with stains, spots, or mud, and needs to be cleaned.

She still did not like the woman who had dirty fingernails...

= grubby

≠ clean



To dirty something means to cause it to become dirty.

He was afraid the dog’s hairs might dirty the seats...

VERB : V n


If you describe an action as dirty , you disapprove of it and consider it unfair, immoral, or dishonest.

The gunman had been hired by a rival Mafia family to do the dirty deed.

ADJ : usu ADJ n [ disapproval ]

Dirty is also an adverb.

Jim Browne is the kind of fellow who can fight dirty.

ADV : ADV after v


If you describe something such as a joke, a book, or someone’s language as dirty , you mean that it refers to sex in a way that some people find offensive.

They told dirty jokes and sang raucous ballads...

ADJ : usu ADJ n

Dirty is also an adverb.

I’m often asked whether the men talk dirty to me. The answer is no.

ADV : ADV after v


Dirty is used before words of criticism to emphasize that you do not approve of someone or something. ( INFORMAL )

You dirty liar.

ADJ : ADJ n [ emphasis ]


If you say that someone washes their dirty linen in public , you disapprove of their discussing or arguing about unpleasant or private things in front of other people. There are several other forms of this expression, for example wash your dirty laundry in public , or in American English, air your dirty laundry in public .

We shouldn’t wash our dirty laundry in public and if I was in his position, I’d say nothing at all.

PHRASE : V inflects [ disapproval ]


If someone gives you a dirty look , they look at you in a way which shows that they are angry with you. ( INFORMAL )

Michael gave him a dirty look and walked out.

PHRASE : N inflects , PHR after v


Dirty old man is an expression some people use to describe an older man who they think shows an unnatural interest in sex.

PHRASE : N inflects , usu v-link PHR [ disapproval ]


To do someone’s dirty work means to do a task for them that is dishonest or unpleasant and which they do not want to do themselves.

As a member of an elite army hit squad, the army would send us out to do their dirty work for them.

PHRASE : V inflects


If you say that an expression is a dirty word in a particular group of people, you mean it refers to an idea that they strongly dislike or disagree with.

Marketing became a dirty word at the company.

PHRASE : v-link PHR

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.