American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Fine, dry particles of matter.
- n. A cloud of fine, dry particles.
- n. Particles of matter regarded as the result of disintegration: fabric that had fallen to dust over the centuries.
- n. Earth, especially when regarded as the substance of the grave: "ashes to ashes, dust to dust” ( Book of Common Prayer).
- n. The surface of the ground.
- n. A debased or despised condition.
- n. Something of no worth.
- n. Chiefly British Rubbish readied for disposal.
- n. Confusion; agitation; commotion: won't go back in until the dust settles.
- v. To remove dust from by wiping, brushing, or beating: dust the furniture.
- v. To sprinkle with a powdery substance: dusted the cookies with sugar; dust crops with fertilizer.
- v. To apply or strew in fine particles: dusted talcum powder on my feet.
- v. Baseball To deliver a pitch so close to (the batter) as to make the batter back away.
- v. To clean by removing dust.
- v. To cover itself with such particulate matter. Used of a bird.
- dust off To restore to use: dusted off last year's winter coat.
- idiom. in the dust Far behind, as in a race or competition: a marketing strategy that left our competitors in the dust.
- idiom. make the dust fly To go about a task with great energy and speed.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Earth or other matter in fine dry particles, so attenuated that they can be raised and carried by the wind; finely comminuted or powdered matter: as, clouds of dust obscure the sky.
- n. A collection or cloud of powdered matter in the air; an assemblage or mass of fine particles carried by the wind: as, the trampling of the animals raised a great dust; to take the dust of a carriage going in advance.
- n. Hence Confusion, obscurity, or entanglement of contrary opinions or desires; embroilment; discord: as, to raise a dust about an affront; to kick up a dust. See phrases below.
- n. A small quantity of any powdered substance sprinkled over something: used chiefly in cookery: as, give it a dust of ground spice.
- n. Crude matter regarded as consisting of separate particles; elementary substance.
- n. Hence A dead body, or one of the atoms that compose it; remains.
- n. A low condition, as if prone on the ground.
- n. Rubbish; ashes and other refuse.
- n. Gold-dust; hence, money; cash. See phrases below.
- n. Same as dust-brand.
- n. To make confusion or disturbance; get up a dispute; create discord or angry discussion.
- To free from dust; brush, wipe, or sweep away dust from: as, to dust a table, floor, or room.
- To sprinkle with dust, or with something in the form of dust: as, to dust a cake with fine sugar; to dust a surface with white or yellow.
- To throw; hurl.
- To strike; beat.
- To run; leave hastily; scuttle; get out: as, to get up and dust; come, dust out of here.
- n. In botany, pollen.
- n. Flour.
- n. uncountable Fine, dry particles of matter found in the air and covering the surface of objects, typically consisting of soil lifted up by the wind, pollen, hair, etc.
- n. countable The act of cleaning by dusting.
- n. mathematics A totally disconnected set of points with a fractal structure.
- v. transitive To remove dust from.
- v. intransitive To remove dust; to clean by removing dust.
- v. intransitive Of a bird, to cover itself in sand or dry, dusty earth.
- v. transitive To spray or cover something with fine powder or liquid.
- v. To leave; to rush off.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Fine, dry particles of earth or other matter, so comminuted that they may be raised and wafted by the wind; that which is crumbled to minute portions; fine powder
- n. rare A single particle of earth or other matter.
- n. The earth, as the resting place of the dead.
- n. The earthy remains of bodies once alive; the remains of the human body.
- n. Figuratively, a worthless thing.
- n. Figuratively, a low or mean condition.
- n. Slang, Slang Gold dust. Coined money; cash.
- v. To free from dust; to brush, wipe, or sweep away dust from.
- v. To sprinkle with dust.
- v. To reduce to a fine powder; to levigate.
- v. cover with a light dusting of a substance
- n. the remains of something that has been destroyed or broken up
- n. free microscopic particles of solid material
- v. remove the dust from
- v. distribute loosely
- n. fine powdery material such as dry earth or pollen that can be blown about in the air
- v. rub the dust over a surface so as to blur the outlines of a shape
- From Middle English dust, doust, from Old English dust, dūst ("dust, dried earth reduced to powder; other dry material reduced to powder"), from the fusion of Proto-Germanic *dustan (“dust”) and Proto-Germanic *dunstan (“mist, dust, evaporation”), both from Proto-Indo-European *dʰewes-, *dʰews-, *dʰwAn-, *dʰūw- (“to smoke, raise dust”). Cognate with Scots dust, dist ("dust"), Dutch duist ("pollen, dust") and dons ("down, fuzz"), German Dust ("dust") and Dunst ("haze"), Swedish dust ("dust"), Icelandic dust ("dust"), Latin fūmus ("smoke, steam"). Also related to Swedish dun ("down, fluff"), Icelandic dúnn ("down, fluff"). See down. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English dūst. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Yea it is dust of the worst kind, caused from the mines of this ancient house of God, so that it pittieth his  servants to see her in the dust_.”
“_Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust_, and the dread responsive rattle given back by the coffin lid.”
“Most of the people there have walked hundreds of kilometers through a climate that takes the term "dust bowl" to the extreme.”
“Lebanese Red Cross and Civil Defense workers carry the body of a small child covered in dust from the rubble of his home that was hit in an Israeli missile strike in the village of Qana, east of the port city of Tyre, Lebanon, Sunday.”
“Lebanese Red Cross and Civil Defense workers carry the body of a small child covered in dust from the rubble of his home that was hit in an Israeli missile strike in the village of Qana, east of the port city of Tyre, Lebanon, Sunday, July 30, 2006.”
“Father Raimon steps closer – and can see that the dust is actually ash, and amongst the ash are larger bits of still-smoking blackened flesh.”
“The final design looks awesome, but what we do with it after two weeks when the dust is a really big problem?”
“I pretend I'm driving some kind of interplanetary fighter craft, and the dust is the result of having fought a dogfight in the tail of a comet.”
“That is what they call the dust cover, the dust case that it is in.”
“The mouth in the dust is the attitude of suppliant and humble submission to God's dealings as righteous and loving in design”
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