Definition of “nasty” - English Dictionary

“nasty” in British English

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nastyadjective

uk /ˈnɑː.sti/ us /ˈnæs.ti/

B1 bad or very unpleasant:

a nasty shock/surprise
There's a nasty smell in here.
He had a nasty cut above the eye.
She has a nasty habit of picking on people in meetings.

B1 unkind:

Don't be so nasty to your brother - he's four years younger than you!

B2 mainly UK dangerous or violent:

In an emergency you could get out through a window, but it would be a nasty drop.
The situation could turn (= become) nasty at any moment.

rude or offensive:

She said some really nasty things about him.
have a nasty feeling

mainly UK to think that something bad is likely to happen or to be true:

I've got a nasty feeling that I forgot to tell Joe I couldn't come.

More examples

  • Emily has a very nasty cough.
  • You could get a nasty shock from that water heater if it isn't earthed properly.
  • He had a nasty fall and hurt his back.
  • He's a nasty little man.
  • I hope he's not going to spring any nasty surprises on us at the meeting this morning.
nastily
adverb uk /ˈnɑː.stəl.i/ us /ˈnæs.təl.i/

He laughed nastily (= unkindly) and walked away.
nastiness
noun [ U ] uk /ˈnɑː.sti.nəs/ us /ˈnæs.ti.nəs/

(Definition of “nasty” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“nasty” in American English

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nastyadjective

us /ˈnæs·ti/

mean, unpleasant, or offensive:

He was, to be honest, a nasty man, with never a kind word for anyone.
I got a rather nasty (= severe) cut from the garage door.

(Definition of “nasty” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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