Definition of unclean in English:



  • 1Dirty.

    ‘the firm was fined for operating in unclean premises’
    • ‘I agree that smoking is not a good thing to do, but I defend the smoker's right not to be vilified and told they are dirty, smelly, unclean and all the other accusations thrown their way.’
    • ‘For example, why should our cities and villages be so unclean and unhygienic?’
    • ‘On March 2, over 100 nurses, kitchen staff and theatre technicians walked off the job at Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria, to protest against unhygienic and unclean conditions.’
    • ‘You do not get lice because you are dirty or unclean.’
    • ‘A diversified diet with a lot of vegetables, and avoiding unclean food as roundworms may also cause gallbladder disease, will help prevent stones.’
    • ‘If I drink ground water from the well in my house, it tastes brackish and salty, while the tap water is always unclean and unhealthy.’
    • ‘Vibrio parahaemolyticus can be present in raw or undercooked seafoods while Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus are usually associated with foods contaminated by animal feces and the consumption of raw meat and unclean eggs.’
    • ‘As they land on Earth, the visitors are greeted by unclean premises and atmospheric pollution.’
    • ‘Some of the general measures include: avoiding unclean food and water, washing hands thoroughly after using the toilet or contact with body fluids.’
    • ‘Given the fact that many Irish people are infrequent users of shower or bath, there are grounds for fearing that an unclean security area can become a breeding ground for nasty microbes.’
    • ‘Recently, the newspaper La Repubblica carried an article wondering why the British food supply was so unclean and unsafe.’
    • ‘A Swindon kebab house boss has admitted that his premises were unclean, had inadequate hand washing facilities and that his workers were not trained in food hygiene.’
    • ‘Being unclean or dirty does not cause infection.’
    • ‘The district office complex of Sirsa is no different from most others in the country - dusty, disorderly, crowded and unclean.’
    • ‘It's because of you that we are pegged as being unclean, dirty or unhealthy.’
    • ‘In 1868, he visited Brown's Flat near Yosemite's Merced River, where he encountered a group of Indians denigrated as Diggers whom he found dirty and unclean.’
    • ‘Nova and his mother walked to the front door, passing a poorly manicured lawn and rang the faint doorbell on the dirty and unclean porch having fast food takeout bags in their hands.’
    • ‘The water supply is unclean, the food inadequate, the sanitation non-existent, and prisoners are exposed to the winter cold.’
    • ‘During the same period that John Muir was describing Indians as dirty and unclean, cities were perceived as dirty and polluted.’
    • ‘If somebody is lying in a hospital, they are dying because of dirty water and unclean water, and we've got to solve the problem of clean water; otherwise, people are going to die.’
    dirty, filthy, grubby, grimy, mucky, fouled, foul, impure, adulterated, tainted, tarnished, stained, soiled, begrimed, smeared, unwashed
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  • 2Morally wrong.

    ‘unclean thoughts’
    • ‘Isaiah was a man of unclean lips who prophesied the birth of Christ.’
    • ‘Michael McDowell objects, as it will interfere with his plan to intern the hard-left and anyone morally unclean.’
    • ‘It is common to hear Christians describe homosexuality as abhorrent, depraved, abominable, dirty and unclean, and refer to homosexuals as disgusting.’
    • ‘I was not allowing him to be on for the last 20 minutes, letting unclean mouths shout filthy chants at him.’
    • ‘The outraged cleric fumed: ‘All that goes for an unclean and unhealthy life.’’
    • ‘I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.’
    • ‘When I view La Belle Noiseuse, a movie which features more than 90 minutes of a naked Emmanuelle Beart, my thoughts are not impure or unclean.’
    1. 2.1 (of food) regarded in a particular religion as impure and unfit to be eaten.
      ‘both religions regard pork as unclean’
      • ‘Anomalous creatures were abominated as unclean and were forbidden for food.’
      • ‘Answering the accusations of some incensed Pharisees, Jesus told his disciples that it is not any food that we consume that makes us unclean in God's eyes.’
      • ‘According to the Koran, pork is unclean and forbidden.’
      • ‘He was a specialist butcher who sold halal meat and apparently customers of that meat prefer male to female meat, because they consider the female meat to be possibly unclean.’
      • ‘Religious texts and law books are modified to describe cow eating as unclean, and beef as well as other meat begins to disappear from the menus for Brahmins and the upper classes.’
      • ‘As the conflict worsened, Jews were forced-under pain of death-to pay homage to Zeus, to eat unclean foods, and even to renounce Yahweh as their God.’
      • ‘Peter understands the church's squeamishness about eating unclean foods and staying in a nonkosher home; Peter had gulped a little himself.’
      • ‘Peter says, ‘No Lord, no, I cannot eat these forbidden foods, I have never eaten any unclean thing.’’
      • ‘Three local councils had banned the sale of pork declaring the meat was unclean and most certainly not kosher.’
      • ‘Foods that are unclean and disgusting, such as the meat of an animal that died of disease, are not Kosher.’
      • ‘And the rock badger, because he chews the cud, but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you.’
      • ‘Pigs are regarded as unclean animals in my religion and I couldn't possibly share a room with it.’
      • ‘Controversy was sparked after it was suggested by a Derby City Council committee that the statue should be put elsewhere for fear of upsetting Muslims, who regard pigs as unclean.’
      • ‘Foods are clean and unclean as well as nutritious and non-nutritious.’
      • ‘The Bible in Deuteronomy 14: 3 prohibits eating all abhorrent and unclean things and according to the encyclopedia Judaica, the Bible totally prohibits consumption of blood.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the Mosaic health laws stressed prevention more than treatment with their clean and unclean foods, emphasis on sanitation, and rules of quarantine.’
      • ‘We need not worry about such things as ceremonial washings and clean and unclean foods.’
      • ‘Not a place of honour or usefulness - the book of Leviticus advises Jews that the pig, even though it has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed, it does not chew the cud; and therefore it is unclean.’
      • ‘Christian fasting and abstinence did not, of course, spring from a ritual distinction between clean and unclean meats, but it was just as deeply embedded in theological conviction as the older dispensation.’
      • ‘Along with their involved list of unclean foods they were forbidden to eat, some Jews also had elaborate rituals of hand washing before meals.’
    2. 2.2 (in biblical use) ritually impure; (of a spirit) evil.
      • ‘He equipped them with authority over ‘the unclean spirits’ but no ‘authority’ over their human audience.’
      • ‘Instead, he demonstrates Jesus' authority by describing the deliverance of a man with an unclean spirit.’
      • ‘For some Muslim men, contact with a menstruating renders them ritually unclean and thus unfit to pray.’
      • ‘In the New Testament, it is striking how those with an unclean spirit were able to recognise our Lord.’
      • ‘That means that in the tradition before Mark there was only the purpose of casting out unclean spirits.’
      • ‘When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.’
      • ‘In Mark 1: 23-24 the Bible says the man had an unclean spirit, as if in the singular.’
      • ‘The unclean spirit shouting out to Jesus represents both a verbal challenge and the demon's enmity toward him.’
      • ‘He scatters unclean spirits and restores people to community.’
      • ‘These evil spirits made people ritually unclean and the unclean could not share in corporate worship.’
      • ‘There is the convulsed boy foaming at the mouth and the man emerging from the tombs with an unclean spirit.’
      • ‘The demons who follow Satan share these titles with him as enemies, foul spirits, lying spirits, tempters, and unclean spirits.’
      • ‘She refused tinned sardines for lunch because by eating them she would make herself unclean and thus unfit to visit the temple for the next twenty-four hours.’
      • ‘Jesus also gave His disciples authority over unclean spirits.’
      • ‘Let us remember, however, the words of Jesus ‘When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.’’
      • ‘Through spiritual pronouncements based on racialized sexual differences, black bodies are frequently seen and experienced as the unholy, unclean incarnation of evil in America.’
      • ‘In Mark 5 we read the story of the man with an unclean spirit who lived in the country of the Gerasenes.’
      • ‘Jesus' rebukes are reserved for the so-called demons or unclean spirits by which some are possessed.’
      • ‘For He had been saying to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’’
      • ‘This man was ill, ritually unclean, unkempt, probably physically repulsive, an outcast from society, and unqualified to approach God at the temple, but Jesus felt compassion.’
      sinful, immoral, bad, wicked, evil, corrupt, impure, sullied, unwholesome, sordid, disgusting, debased, degenerate, depraved, licentious, lewd, unchaste, lustful
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Old English unclǣne (see un-, clean).