Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Foul or dirty matter.
  • noun Disgusting garbage or refuse.
  • noun A dirty or corrupt condition; foulness.
  • noun Something, such as language or printed matter, considered obscene, prurient, or immoral.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Anything that soils or defiles; foul, offensive matter; also, the state of being defiled; a foul condition; squalor; nastiness.
  • noun Anything that sullies or befouls the moral character; pollution; defilement.
  • noun Figuratively, a low or foul fellow; a wretch.
  • noun Synonyms Impurity, grossness, obscenity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Foul matter; anything that soils or defiles; dirt; nastiness.
  • noun Anything that sullies or defiles the moral character; corruption; pollution.
  • noun (Med.) a disease supposed to be due to pollution of the soil or water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun dirt
  • noun smut
  • noun UK, pejorative, slang the police
  • noun US, agriculture, dated weeds growing on pasture land

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

  • noun any substance considered disgustingly foul or unpleasant
  • noun a state characterized by foul or disgusting dirt and refuse
  • noun the state of being covered with unclean things
  • noun an offensive or indecent word or phrase

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English fȳlth; see pū̆- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English filth, from Old English fȳlþ ("foulness, filth"), from Proto-Germanic *fūliþō (“foulness, filth”), from Proto-Germanic *fūlaz (“foul, corrupt, dirty, vile”), from Proto-Indo-European *pū- (“rottenness, pus”), equivalent to foul +‎ -th. More at foul.

Examples

Comments

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  • British slang - "filth - Noun. The police. E.g.'The filth are out in force tonight, so watch your behaviour and no drunkeness.' 1950s"

    - peevish.co.uk

    September 23, 2008

  • Acronym: "Failed in London, Try Honkers", referring to the phenomenon of England's not-quite-best-and-brightest moving to Hong Kong in an effort to boost their success in the financial or business world. A career path which was presumably closed off after the 1999 handover of the colony to the Chinese.

    February 9, 2009