down-and-dirty [doun-uh n-dur-tee] Word Origin adjective Informal.

  1. unscrupulous; nasty: a down-and-dirty election campaign.
  2. earthy; funky.

Origin of down-and-dirty First recorded in 1985–90 British Dictionary definitions for down and dirty down and dirty adjective (down-and-dirty when prenominal) informal, mainly US

  1. ruthlessly competitive or underhandif Bush gets down and dirty the Governor will give as good as he gets
  2. uninhibited; frank

Idioms and Phrases with down and dirty down and dirty 1

Vicious, not governed by rules of decency, as in The candidates are getting down and dirty early in the campaign. [Slang; early 1980s]


Very earthy, uninhibitedly sexual. For example, “L.A. club people rarely get down and dirty on a dance floor” (The New Yorker, May 21, 1990). [Late 1980s]

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