adjective squal·id \ˈskwä-ləd\

: very dirty and unpleasant

: immoral or dishonest

Full Definition of SQUALID

:  marked by filthiness and degradation from neglect or poverty
:  sordid
squal·id·ly adverb
squal·id·ness noun

Examples of SQUALID

  1. The family lived in squalid conditions.

Origin of SQUALID

Latin squalidus rough, dirty, from squalēre to be covered with scales or dirt, from squalus dirty; perhaps akin to Latin squama scale
First Known Use: 1596

Synonym Discussion of SQUALID

dirty, filthy, foul, nasty, squalid mean conspicuously unclean or impure. dirty emphasizes the presence of dirt more than an emotional reaction to it <a dirty littered street>. filthy carries a strong suggestion of offensiveness and typically of gradually accumulated dirt that begrimes and besmears <a stained greasy floor, utterly filthy>. foul implies extreme offensiveness and an accumulation of what is rotten or stinking <a foul-smelling open sewer>. nasty applies to what is actually foul or is repugnant to one expecting freshness, cleanliness, or sweetness <it's a nasty job to clean up after a sick cat>. In practice, nasty is often weakened to the point of being no more than a synonym of unpleasant or disagreeable <had a nasty fall> <his answer gave her a nasty shock>. squalid adds to the idea of dirtiness and filth that of slovenly neglect <squalid slums>. All these terms are also applicable to moral uncleanness or baseness or obscenity. dirty then stresses meanness or despicableness <don't ask me to do your dirty work>, while filthy and foul describe disgusting obscenity or loathsome behavior <filthy street language> <a foul story of lust and greed>, and nasty implies a peculiarly offensive unpleasantness <a stand-up comedian known for nasty humor>. Distinctively, squalid implies sordidness as well as baseness and dirtiness <engaged in a series of squalid affairs>.

Rhymes with SQUALID

ER/-EST Defined for Kids


adjective squal·id \ˈskwä-ləd\

Definition of SQUALID for Kids

:  filthy or degraded from a lack of care or money <They lived in squalid conditions.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: SqualidaPrevious Word in the Dictionary: SqualiAll Words Near: squalid
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears