"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uhn-kleen] /ʌnˈklin/
adjective, uncleaner, uncleanest.
not clean; dirty.
morally impure; evil; vile:
unclean thoughts.
Chiefly Biblical. having a physical or moral blemish so as to make impure according to the laws, especially the dietary or ceremonial laws:
an unclean animal; unclean persons.
Origin of unclean
before 900; Middle English unclene, Old English unclǣne. See un-1, clean
Related forms
uncleanness, noun
1. soiled, filthy. 2. base, unchaste, sinful, corrupt, polluted. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unclean
  • In these bands are all the gamblers, all the adulterers, all the unclean and shameless citizens.
  • The ancestors who produced such an individual are necessarily flawed, for nothing unclean can produce something clean.
  • She knew she should not store unclean clothes in the same room where she kept the pictures of her gods.
  • unclean hands, however, remains a broader defense less amenable to a particular checklist of elements.
  • Unkept balconies are unattractive and may be considered unclean premises.
British Dictionary definitions for unclean


lacking moral, spiritual, ritual, or physical cleanliness
Derived Forms
uncleanness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for unclean

Old English unclæne, "morally impure, defiled, unfit for food," from un- (1) "not" + clean (adj.). Literal sense of "dirty" is recorded from mid-13c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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