Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Darkened with smoke and grime; dirty or discolored.
  • adj. Shabby, drab, or squalid.
  • adj. Slang Crazy; insane.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. drab; shabby; dirty; squalid
  • n. Alternative form of dinghy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Soiled; sullied; of a dark or dusky color; dark brown; dirty.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Foul; dirty.
  • Soiled; tarnished; of a dusky color; having a dull-brownish tinge.
  • Synonyms Tarnished, rusty, dull.
  • n. See dinghy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. thickly covered with ingrained dirt or soot
  • adj. causing dejection
  • adj. (of color) discolored by impurities; not bright and clear

Etymologies

Possibly from Middle English dinge, dung, variant of dung; see dung.
ding1 + -y1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Unknown, though probably from an I-mutated form of "dung". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The poor live in dingy cubes of space stacked on top of each other like ice cube trays, twelve stories high even in the slums.

    365 tomorrows » J. Loseth : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  • One of my policies is to avoid motels where you need to communicate with the clerk through a slot in dingy bulletproof glass.

    Motel Paradiso

  • For decades a foreign proletariat toiling in dingy factories from Vladivostok to Karl-Marx-Stadt helped bankroll Pyongyang's transformation into a proud monument to ethnic self-reliance, so that someday a Bruce Cumings could boast that it is anything but the ugly Communist capital one might expect.

    Mother of All Mothers

  • Among them was a man in dingy civilian clothes who was lying with his arm across his face and apparently asleep.

    Revenge is Sour

  • And there was a certain dingy office in a lane-like street that was also a centre in the early eighties.

    Canadian Cities of Romance

  • "Bless you, yes, sir," said that worthy, resplendent in dingy scarlet uniform.

    A Little Bush Maid

  • People whose lives, and those of their parents before them, have been spent in dingy tenements, and whose only garden is a rickety soap-box high up on a fire-escape, share this love, which must have a plant to tend, with those whose gardens cover acres and whose plants have been gathered from all the countries of the world.

    A Woman's Hardy Garden

  • The police and prosecutors of “Law & Order” may have spent most of their time in dingy offices and had no personal lives to speak of, but we’ll likely miss them more in the long run than the hothouse heroes of those other shows.

    intertribal: while everyone else was watching Lost...

  • The shivering terrified wretches hidden in dingy rooms around the country are another of Brown’s achievements while he has been running the domestic show.

    Archive 2007-12-30

  • Boys work for 20 hour days, seven days a week, in dingy 10’ square rooms having little ventilation and grimy floors.

    Young slaves of Mumbai

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  • I rowed my grimy dinghy across an oily bay
    And spied a dingy shack upon a dismal cay.

    May 13, 2010

  • Really, oro ...

    March 20, 2009

  • Bi-sonic as in dingy blond: dirty v. dingbatty.

    March 20, 2009