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[din-jee] /ˈdɪn dʒi/
adjective, dingier, dingiest.
of a dark, dull, or dirty color or aspect; lacking brightness or freshness.
shabby; dismal.
Origin of dingy
1730-40; origin uncertain
Related forms
dingily, adverb
dinginess, noun
Can be confused
dinghy, dingy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dingy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That Sunday evening Aurora Lane sat alone in her dingy little home.

    The Broken Gate Emerson Hough
  • He turned the knob and entered, advancing to the middle of the dingy room.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • On sandbars some dingy, log-like shapes, beginning stealthily to move toward the water, were revealed as crocodiles.

    Sacrifice Stephen French Whitman
  • The stove, with its perspective all awry, was tame and precise, and in colour as dingy as mire.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • Sparrows twittered very noisily, and their shadows would sometimes slip across the dingy walls and ceiling.

    Carnival Compton Mackenzie
British Dictionary definitions for dingy


adjective -gier, -giest
lacking light or brightness; drab
dirty; discoloured
Derived Forms
dingily, adverb
dinginess, noun
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from an earlier dialect word related to Old English dynge dung
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dingy

1736, Kentish dialect, "dirty," of uncertain origin, but perhaps related to dung. The noun dinge (1816) is a back-formation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dingy



Goofy; loony: a dingy move

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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