Definition of dingy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdinjē/

adjective (dingier, dingiest)

Gloomy and drab: a dingy room
More example sentences
  • She looked around a dingy and dirty room that contained two stalls, but no other door out.
  • The dark and dingy rooms have just one little room up a stairway, which served as a toilet and bath.
  • They are in a rather dingy room with a few Argos inspired design touches and in the presence of two young children.
gloomy, dark, dull, badly/poorly lit, murky, dim, dismal, dreary, drab, somber, grim, cheerless;
dirty, grimy, shabby, faded, worn, dowdy, seedy, run-down
informal grungy



Pronunciation: /-əlē/
Example sentences
  • I looked down at the dingily drawn American flag.
  • This was taken - despite appearances - at a lunch time concert in a rather dingily lit food court.
  • Whether your potential date sees you first in a photograph, across a speed dating table or in a dingily lit bar, you'd better be looking your best if you're out and about.


Pronunciation: /ˈdinjēnəs/
Example sentences
  • Under these circumstances both cities are at their most abstractly lovely, with the dinginess and decay invisible and human life represented only by parked cars and electric lights.
  • Mike leans back and chuckles, and everyone joins in, sipping hot, sweet coffee gratefully in the chill of the a/c, in the musty dinginess of the club before opening time.
  • The geeky mayhem is played out in scenes of deepest American dinginess: checked couches, hanging crystals, bad hair dye, dim clutter.


Mid 18th century: perhaps based on Old English dynge 'dung'.

  • grunge from [1960s]:

    Before it became associated with rock music, grunge was generally used to mean ‘grime or dirt’. It was formed from grungy, a word that was coined in the 1960s, probably by blending grubby (from the state you get in when you grub (Middle English) or dig) and dingy (a M18th word of unknown origin, but perhaps related to dung). In the 1990s grunge became the term for a style of rock music in which the guitar is played raucously and the lyrics delivered in a lazy vocal style. Among well-known practitioners of grunge were Seattle-based groups such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

Words that rhyme with dingy

fringy, mingy, stingy, whingy

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: din·gy

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