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From Middle English filth, from Old English fȳlþu, from Proto-West Germanic *fūliþu, equivalent to foul +‎ -th.


  • IPA(key): /fɪlθ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪlθ


filth (usually uncountable, plural filths)

  1. Dirt; foul matter; that which soils or defiles.
    Before we start cooking we need to clean up the filth in this kitchen.
  2. Smut; that which sullies or defiles the moral character; corruption; pollution.
    He spends all his time watching filth on pornographic websites.
    • 1671, John Tillotson, “Phil[ippians] iij. 8.”, in Sermons Preach’d upon Several Occasions, London: [] A[nne] M[axwell] for Sa[muel] Gellibrand, [], →OCLC, pages 190–191:
      Novv all theſe Precepts do not only tend to beget in us ſuch vertues and diſpoſitions, as are reaſonable and ſuitable to our nature, and every vvay for our temporal convenience and advantage; but ſuch, as do likevviſe exceedingly diſpoſe us to piety and religion, by purifying our ſouls from the droſs and filth of ſenſual delights.
  3. (derogatory, uncountable) A vile or disgusting person.
    • 1963, Charles Webb, The Graduate:
      I think you're scum, I think you're filth. And as far as Elaine's concerned you're to get her out of your filthy mind right now.
    • 2011, Jeremy Robert Hall, Summer Days:
      They were filth, utter filth. I mean, and this tops it. She even bought the video of her sister dying, or at least the sex act that killed her.
  4. (US, agriculture, dated) Weeds growing on pasture land.
    Grampa remembers when he had to cut filth with a scythe.


the filth (uncountable)

  1. (UK, derogatory, slang) The police.
    We were in the middle of stashing the money when the filth arrived.

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