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A word, phrase, or concept considered taboo or that is no longer approved of; something that has the potential to cause the same offense that an obscenity would. Ever since Jason won the lottery, he considers "work" to be a dirty word. When it comes to politics, "tax increases" might as well be a dirty word.
1. a swearword; an obscene or blasphemous word; a four-letter word. You are not allowed to use dirty words in your school essays. My aunt is offended by the use of dirty words.
2. something that is disliked or disapproved of. Since Tom broke off his engagement, his name is a dirty word in the village. Socialism is a dirty word in that house.
a dirty word
COMMON If something is a dirty word to someone, they disapprove of it and reject it. At the root of the company's problems was the misplaced belief that good products sell themselves. Marketing was a dirty word with them. Wolfe asks why `feminism' has become a dirty word, even among women.
a dirty ˈworda thing or an idea that somebody finds unpleasant or offensive: Work is a dirty word to these lazy kids.
n. a curse word; an informal word concerned with sex or excrement. Some kid got the microphone and yelled a dirty word into it.