Definition of unclean in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌənˈklēn/


1Dirty: the company was fined for operating in unclean premises
More example sentences
  • It's because of you that we are pegged as being unclean, dirty or unhealthy.
  • As they land on Earth, the visitors are greeted by unclean premises and atmospheric pollution.
  • If somebody is lying in a hospital, they are dying because of dirty water and unclean water, and we've got to solve the problem of clean water; otherwise, people are going to die.
dirty, filthy, grubby, grimy, mucky, foul, impure, tainted, grungy, sullied, soiled, unwashed;
polluted, contaminated, infected, unsanitary, unhygienic, unhealthy, disease-ridden
1.1Morally wrong: unclean thoughts
More example sentences
  • Michael McDowell objects, as it will interfere with his plan to intern the hard-left and anyone morally unclean.
  • The outraged cleric fumed: ‘All that goes for an unclean and unhealthy life.’
  • I was not allowing him to be on for the last 20 minutes, letting unclean mouths shout filthy chants at him.
1.2(Of food) regarded in a particular religion as impure and unfit to be eaten: pork is an unclean meat for Muslims
More example sentences
  • Peter understands the church's squeamishness about eating unclean foods and staying in a nonkosher home; Peter had gulped a little himself.
  • Along with their involved list of unclean foods they were forbidden to eat, some Jews also had elaborate rituals of hand washing before meals.
  • We need not worry about such things as ceremonial washings and clean and unclean foods.
1.3(In biblical use) ritually impure; (of a spirit) evil.
Example sentences
  • These evil spirits made people ritually unclean and the unclean could not share in corporate worship.
  • In the New Testament, it is striking how those with an unclean spirit were able to recognise our Lord.
  • In Mark 1: 23-24 the Bible says the man had an unclean spirit, as if in the singular.
forbidden, taboo



Pronunciation: /ˌənˈklēnnəs/
Example sentences
  • The concern was about impurity, pollution, uncleanness.
  • They destroy the altars, after having defiled them with their uncleanness.
  • When it is symbolic, the insects often represent filth and uncleanness.


Old English unclǣne (see un-1, clean).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: un·clean

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