Definition of dirty word in US English:

dirty word


  • 1An offensive or indecent word.

    • ‘From Ozzy and his f-word to Tony Soprano's profane tirades, the dirty words on cable TV these days would make a longshoreman blush - and the networks aren't much different.’
    • ‘They remember a time when they were working on the rec room and ended up writing dirty words all over the wall - Conrad says the words are still there, and they go to the basement to see.’
    • ‘He verbally abused us with foul language and dirty words.’
    • ‘It almost seems to me that in this as in other areas of sexual and excretory humour, men and women are exercising an almost pre-adolescent sort of ‘let's shock the adults by using dirty words.’’
    • ‘He said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the ‘F-dash-dash-dash’ word!’
    • ‘Tributes to Cook included Canadian Austin Powers star Mike Myers, who was voted 48th in the list, and said of the late British comedian: ‘I didn't know dirty words could be done that artfully.’’
    • ‘And every time I went over to a table - like one table was all Italian, the next table was all German, the next table was all French - and they would teach me, you know, the dirty words first, which I discarded.’
    • ‘It is indecent to use dirty words in one's native language, but foreign words are fine.’
    • ‘She then explains that she thinks that's a dirty word because obscenity is all in the mind and that word just doesn't sit right with her.’
    • ‘I kept about half of them and delete those with too many dirty words - the words are insulting every reader's eyes.’
    • ‘It was like a euphemism for a dirty word, he'd rather people'd just said the word than try to make it seem nicer.’
    • ‘California Congressman Doug Ose is sponsoring a bill that would require the FCC to define any use of eight dirty words as profane.’
    swear word, curse, expletive, oath, profanity, four-letter word, obscenity, epithet
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A thing regarded with dislike or disapproval.
      ‘people can talk about profit without it being a dirty word’
      • ‘The word ‘liberal’ is a dirty word in many parts of my country, corresponding roughly with ‘the devil.’’
      • ‘It's wonderful to know someone out there in your industry who does not consider integrity, family or decency dirty words.’
      • ‘There is an ingestion of corporate media propaganda that made ‘feminism’ a dirty word, a taboo word.’
      • ‘For many people, the word ‘cult’ is a dirty word.’
      • ‘There was a time in the 1980s and 1990s when the word ‘apprentice’ was a dirty word in this country.’
      • ‘The word ‘sales’ became a dirty word and was replaced with modern psychological buzzwords like subliminal persuasion.’
      • ‘In the US where the words Welfare and Public Service are regarded as dirty words, they only spend 30% of the GDP on public services.’
      • ‘Here, at last, was someone who I had feared would always be a figment of my imagination: a Labour leader who did not regard profit as a dirty word but who did regard nationalisation as a dirty word.’
      • ‘Liberals and libertines who can't complete a sentence without using gutter profanity have turned modesty, monogamy, faith, and self-restraint into dirty words.’
      • ‘One subject we have not dealt with is the visual junk diet of soaps, smut, and vulgar language: the verbal corruption that has infected our nation's bloodstream and turned courtesy into a dirty word among the young.’
      • ‘The dirty words in the new modernisation regime are ‘internal market’ and Ford is determined that the tendency for every health board area to work in isolation, developing services the way they see best, is finally eradicated.’
      • ‘And when you come back reconsider the subsidies of the private health insurance system by a government to whom the word ‘subsidy’ is a dirty word.’
      • ‘Across Latin America ‘liberalization’ (code word for slash-and-burn capitalism) is a dirty word.’
      • ‘What Pac Brands needs is some courageous leaders who are not afraid to break the moulds of Pac Dunlop days gone by, where thoughts such as retail outlets, launching premium brands and a alignment of operations and brands are not dirty words.’
      • ‘Arthur Finkelstein, more than any other person in this country, is the one who made the word ‘liberal’ into a dirty word.’
      • ‘Electromigration has historically been a dirty word in the chip industry.’
      • ‘The ‘spirit’ of the Council has become something of a dirty word among conservatives, and something of a license for doctrinal free-for-all among liberals.’
      • ‘Perhaps the vital question for them is: Will the Dodgers ever figure out that offense isn't a dirty word?’
      • ‘However, adoption is still a dirty word in the Australian child welfare industry, and overseas experience suggests that adoption reform will face two significant hurdles in Australia.’
      • ‘‘Both of those are dirty words in the vocabulary of a Marine,’ said Lt. Gen. James T. Conway of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.’