Definition of nasty in English:

nasty

Syllabification: nas·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈnastē
 
/

adjective (nastier, nastiest)

1Highly unpleasant, especially to the senses; physically nauseating: plastic bags burn with a nasty, acrid smell
More example sentences
  • Through careful planning people can avoid inheritance tax, which can come as a nasty shock at what is bound to be an upsetting time.
  • Publishers, apparently, found it a nasty shock to be ‘up against someone whose skill in driving a bargain equalled if not excelled their own’.
  • For those who enjoy eating out (or eating in with a takeaway) and thought that by avoiding junk food they could do so healthily, this will have come as a nasty shock.
Synonyms
unpleasant, disagreeable, disgusting, distasteful, awful, dreadful, horrible, terrible, vile, foul, abominable, frightful, loathsome, revolting, repulsive, odious, sickening, nauseating, repellent, repugnant, horrendous, appalling, atrocious, offensive, objectionable, obnoxious, unsavory, unappetizing, off-putting; noxious, foul-smelling, smelly, stinking, rank, fetid, malodorous, mephitic
informal ghastly, horrid, gruesome, diabolical, yucky, skanky, godawful, gross, beastly, lousy, funky
literary miasmal, noisome
serious, dangerous, bad, awful, dreadful, terrible, severe; painful, ugly
1.1(Of the weather) unpleasantly cold or wet: a cold, nasty day
More example sentences
  • This allows easy access at night or in nasty weather.
  • After what seemed like an eternity of thick fog and really nasty weather, the skies finally cleared up yesterday.
  • The weather was nasty, very, very stormy and a lot of people were seasick.
Synonyms
unpleasant, disagreeable, foul, filthy, inclement; wet, stormy, cold, blustery, blizzardy
1.2Repugnant to the mind; morally bad: her stories are very nasty, full of murder and violence
More example sentences
  • Joe tried to look as his normal-self again; but his mind kept exploding with nasty thoughts towards the girl, Laura.
  • I want to think of something to insult you at the moment, but nothing comes to mind that's nasty enough not to compliment you.
  • He was a miserable little narrow minded bigot with a nasty temper.
Synonyms
obscene, indecent, offensive, crude, rude, dirty, filthy, vulgar, foul, gross, disgusting, pornographic, smutty, lewd
informal sick, X-rated
2(Of a person or animal) behaving in an unpleasant or spiteful way: Harry was a nasty, foul-mouthed old devil when she confronted him, he turned nasty
More example sentences
  • A voice that was nasty and spiteful, leaping at any chance to cause her pain.
  • His imperialists are often nasty folk who behaved horribly towards the natives under their yoke.
  • Not just a grudge, but a hateful, vindictive, nasty bitterness that I didn't even know existed until this person's name was brought up.
Synonyms
unkind, unpleasant, unfriendly, disagreeable, rude, churlish, spiteful, malicious, mean, ill-tempered, ill-natured, vicious, malevolent, obnoxious, hateful, hurtful
informal bitchy, catty
2.1Annoying or unwelcome: life has a nasty habit of repeating itself
More example sentences
  • Just too many nasty trick questions and annoying video clips of past statements, but that's why you get the big money.
  • Unfortunately, this type of viewing can become a nasty habit that, in the end, sabotages any meaningful engagement with sports.
  • Unfortunately, plenty of investors develop the nasty habit of boasting of their gains instead of contemplating possible overvaluation concerns.
Synonyms
3Physically or mentally damaging or harmful: a nasty, vicious-looking hatchet
More example sentences
  • It takes about five minutes to get to the surface without bursting your lungs or doing some other nasty damage to your body.
  • If left unchecked, free radicals cause nasty damage to the body's cell membranes and DNA.
  • Your luscious locks can also suffer from heat damage and nasty rays from the sun so they need some protection too.

noun (plural nasties)

(often nasties) informal Back to top  
1An unpleasant or harmful person or thing: bacteria and other nasties
More example sentences
  • The problem with these nasties is that they lack motivation: it's impossible to tell whether they act out of naïvety, malice or both.
  • Yet despite the presence of molds, bacteria, and other nasties, most archaeological sites, including tombs, have proven safe for science and tourism alike.
  • The land tax sting is going to be quite a political nasty.
1.1chiefly British A horror video or movie.
More example sentences
  • Blockbusters won't be stocking the new nasties.
  • I want to see horror hark back to the old days of video nasties.

Origin

late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Derivatives

nastily

adverb
More example sentences
  • It will fight nastily, brutally and with no compunction.
  • What I mean here is that when the Romans had a mutiny, obviously you can't kill everyone in a mutinous army as you'd have no army, so they killed some of them really nastily, and made the others watch.
  • Equally, why are stay-at-home mums so nastily eager to imagine that the children of their working sisters are damaged, unloved, neurotic, tormented?

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