n. & v.
1. a finely powdered earth, dirt, etc., lying on the ground or on surfaces, and blown about by the wind. b fine powder of any material (pollen dust; gold-dust). c a cloud of dust.
2 a dead person's remains (honoured dust).
3 confusion or turmoil (raised quite a dust).
4 archaic or poet. the mortal human body (we are all dust).
5 the ground; the earth (kissed the dust).
1. tr. (also absol.) clear (furniture etc.) of dust etc. by wiping, brushing, etc.
2 tr. a sprinkle (esp. a cake) with powder, dust, sugar, etc. b sprinkle or strew (sugar, powder, etc.).
3 tr. make dusty.
4 intr. archaic (of a bird) take a dust-bath.
Phrases and idioms:
dust and ashes something very disappointing. dust-bath a bird's rolling in dust to freshen its feathers. dust bowl an area denuded of vegetation by drought or erosion and reduced to desert. dust cover
2 dust-jacket. dust devil S.Afr. a whirlwind visible as a column of dust.
1. dust the clothes of (a person).
2 colloq. reprimand.
3 dust off. dusting-powder 1 talcum powder.
2 any dusting or drying powder. dust-jacket a usu. decorated paper cover used to protect a book from dirt etc.
1. remove the dust from (an object on which it has long been allowed to settle).
2 use and enjoy again after a long period of neglect. dust-sheet Brit. a cloth put over furniture to protect it from dust. dust-shot the smallest size of shot. dust-storm a storm with clouds of dust carried in the air. dust-trap something on, in, or under which dust gathers. dust-up colloq. a fight. dust-wrapper dust-jacket.
in the dust
2 dead. when the dust settles when things quieten down.
Etymology: OE dust: cf. LG dunst vapour