Definitions

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

  • adj. Disgustingly dirty.
  • adj. Physically repellent.
  • adj. Morally offensive; indecent. See Synonyms at offensive.
  • adj. Malicious; spiteful: "Will he say nasty things at my funeral?” ( Ezra Pound).
  • adj. Very unpleasant or annoying: nasty weather; a nasty trick.
  • adj. Painful or dangerous; grave: a nasty accident.
  • adj. Exasperatingly difficult to solve or handle: a nasty puzzle; a nasty problem.
  • n. One that is nasty: "It is the business of museums to present us with nasties as well as with fine things” ( Country Life).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something nasty.
  • n. Sexual intercourse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Offensively filthy; very dirty, foul, or defiled; disgusting; nauseous.
  • adj. Hence, loosely: Offensive; disagreeable; unpropitious; wet; drizzling.
  • adj. Characterized by obscenity; indecent; indelicate; gross; filthy.
  • adj. Vicious; offensively ill-tempered; insultingly mean; spiteful.
  • adj. Difficult to deal with; troublesome.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Filthy; dirty; foul; unclean, either literally or figuratively.
  • Of filthy habits.
  • Morally filthy; indecent; ribald; indelicate: applied to speech or behavior.
  • Nauseous; disgusting to taste or smell: as, a nasty medicine.
  • In a weakened sense, disagreeable; bad.
  • Foul; stormy; disagreeable; unpleasant: applied to the weather. Compare dirty and foul in the same sense.
  • Troublesome; annoying; difficult to deal with, or threatening trouble; of a kind to be avoided: as, a nasty customer to deal with; a nasty cut or fall.
  • Ill-natured; mean; dishonorable; hateful: as, a nasty remark; a nasty trick.
  • Synonyms 1 and 3. Nasty, Filthy, Foul, Dirty. These words are on the descending scale of strength. Nasty is the strongest word in the language for that which is offensive to sight, smell, or touch by the quality of its uncleanness or uncleanliness, The English fondness for the colloquial use of the word in connection with bad weather, and figuratively for anything disagreeable, is not matched by anything in America; on the contrary, the word is considered too strong for ordinary or delicate use, and foul is used of bad weather. All the words apply to that which is filled or covered in considerable degree with anything offensive. The moral uses of the word correspond with the physical.

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

  • adj. disgustingly dirty; filled or smeared with offensive matter
  • adj. offensive or even (of persons) malicious
  • adj. characterized by obscenity
  • adj. exasperatingly difficult to handle or circumvent

Etymologies

Middle English nasti, possibly alteration of Old French nastre, bad, short for villenastre : vilein, bad; see villain + -astre, pejorative suff. (from Latin -aster).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin unknown. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "I'm feeling very, very, _very_ well, my Lord Dook, Mr. V.V. On'y I decided I'd spend to-day lazyin 'at my writin'-desk, readin' over my billy-doox from peers of the rellum, 'stead of working my hands and legs off in that nasty, _nasty_, NASTY --"

    V. V.'s Eyes

  • For instance: at a rustic dance in that state a Kentuckian said to an acquaintance of mine, in reply to his asking the name of a very fine girl, "That's my sister, stranger; and I flatter myself that she shows the _nastiest_ ankle in all Kentuck" -- _Unde derivatur_, from the constant rifle-practice in that state, a good shot or a pretty shot is termed also a nasty shot, because it would make a _nasty_ wound:

    Diary in America, Series One

  • And after her there was Billy Pearce, with one of his regular sore throats and his rather bad - tempered mum, and Mrs. Platt from the shop with what she called a nasty sharp pain inside.

    A Summer Idyll

  • Very well, then, but I have what you call a nasty one for you.

    What Every Woman Knows

  • He connected them with what he called the nasty newfangled method of leaving a cloth on the table, as though to warn people that they were not to sit long.

    Barchester Towers

  • The Guardian's US journalists on Twitter In the UK, the rightwing Tories worked to ditch what they called the 'nasty party' image Did they export it over here?

    The Guardian World News

  • Police are investigating what they described as a nasty and cowardly attack on the bus driver in Lyall Bay around 9. 20pm last night.

    Stuff.co.nz - Stuff

  • Stuart blames her loss on what she called a nasty, dirty campaign full of lies.

    KAKE - HomePage - Headlines

  • Barack Obama with a label nasty enough to generate fear among the populace.

    Metro Times

  • Is she "nasty" because she doesn't seem to care that someone calls her nasty?

    Is Sarah Palin the new Ronald Reagan?

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