Meaning of DUST in English

I. ˈdəst noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English dūst; akin to Old High German tunst, tunist storm, breath, Danish dyst flour dust, Norwegian dysja to drizzle, Latin furere to rage, Greek thyein to rage, seethe, sacrifice, thymos breath, life, spirit, soul, Lithuanian dvasas spirit, breath, Sanskrit dhvaṁsati he perishes, falls to dust, Latin fumus smoke — more at fume

1. : fine dry pulverized particles of earth or other matter : something reduced to minute portions : fine powder

the floors were deep in the dust of spring sandstorms — Willa Cather

a huge cloud of snow spray and snow dust — Carl Jonas


a. : volcanic dust

b. : meteoric dust

c. : gold dust

d. : finely divided or ground food

asparagus, dipped in egg and cracker dust — H.H.Huff

e. : a material (as an insecticide or fungicide) used in a dry form resembling dust to control pests


a. : the particles into which a thing disintegrates : the earthy remains of a body (as a human corpse) once alive

the repository of the dust of many of those illustrious men — C.B.Fairbanks

b. : something that is left after the substance of a thing is gone

stirring up the dust of history — Richard Joseph

c. : something that beclouds or dulls

yes, I know, … though he tried to throw dust in my eyes — Kathleen Freeman

society can do something for itself … by blowing out of the museums and galleries the dust of erudition and the stale incense of hero worship — Clive Bell

3. : the mortal body of a human being

the troubles of our proud and angry dust are from eternity, and shall not fail — A.E.Housman


a. : something worthless

vile gold, dross, dust — Shakespeare

b. : a state of humiliation

her spirit is contrite to the dust — Eden Phillpotts


a. : the earth especially as a place of burial

for now shall I sleep in the dust — Job 7:21 (Authorized Version)

b. : the surface of the ground

he railed at me and made to fight me, I took off my hat, and there I laid him in the dust — Gilbert Parker

— compare bite the dust at bite I

6. archaic : money

7. : a small quantity (as of a fine or powdered substance)

add a dust of flour

a cherry sundae with a dust of nuts over the top — Hugh MacLennan


a. : a cloud of dust

the wagon, with a thin dust rising from the hooves, went on into the lazy afternoon — H.V.Morton

b. : confusion , disturbance

let us kick up what dust we will over “Imperial ideals” — A.T.Quiller-Couch

c. : dustup

9. now dialect : a single particle (as of earth)

to touch a dust of England's ground — Shakespeare

10. Britain : sweepings or other refuse ready for collection

11. : a light olive brown that is lighter than drab, paler than sponge, and paler and slightly redder than average mustard tan — called also antelope

12. slang Australia : flour

- in dust and ashes

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English dustyn, from dust, n.

transitive verb


a. : to reduce to dust

b. : to reduce to a fine powder : levigate

2. archaic : to make dusty : soil with dust


a. : to make free of dust : brush, wipe, or sweep away dust from

dust the table

— often used with off

b. : to brush away like dust

dusted the moths out of the furs — Meridel Le Sueur

c. : to prepare to use again : refurbish or renovate for use (something that has long been neglected or disused) — used with off

standards are dusted off again and reappraised, reassessed — L.H.Bristol

d. : to free (raw wool) of loose dirt by shaking in a machine

4. : to sprinkle with or as if with dust, powder, or other fine particles

whipped cream dusted with cinnamon — S.H.Delaplane

a face … covered with little freckles as if it had been dusted over with gold motes of the light — Edith Sitwell

dusting crops with insecticide

dusted the table for fingerprints

specifically : to spread or distribute a coating of finely ground rock or shale dust in (coal-mine workings) in order to reduce the explosion hazard

5. : to give a beating to : thrash , whip

I will dust their backsides for them — T.B.Costain


a. : to strew or sprinkle in the form of dust : sift

sulfur dusted into shoes and clothes — Girl Scout Handbook

airplanes dust insecticides over the crops

b. : to sow (a crop) in dry soil — used with in

dusted -in rye

7. : to dupe or confuse as if by throwing dust in the eyes

intransitive verb


a. : to disintegrate into dust

b. : to give off or produce dust — used of a concrete floor

2. slang : hurry ; especially : to leave in a hurry

3. of a bird : to sprinkle itself with dust

4. : to remove dust (as from furniture)

I went in now and then to dust and clean — B.A.Williams

- dust a dam

- dust one's jacket

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.