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adjective sor·did \ˈsȯr-dəd\

Simple Definition of sordid

  • : very bad or dishonest

  • : very dirty

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sordid

  1. 1 :  marked by baseness or grossness :  vile <sordid motives>

  2. 2a :  dirty, filthyb :  wretched, squalid

  3. 3 :  meanly avaricious :  covetous

  4. 4 :  of a dull or muddy color

sordidly adverb
sordidness noun

Examples of sordid in a sentence

  1. And Vermes's story is also in part an international thriller, especially with the high-level goings-on around the Scrolls. The full sordid tale of spite, scholarly selfishness, and undisguised anti-Semitism, which kept access to the Dead Sea texts restricted for decades to a tiny cartel, unwinds in his pages. —Paula Fredriksen, New Republic, 15 Oct. 2001

  2. Another reporter working to verify the book's charges ended up unmasking author James Hatfield's sordid past, revealing how little the publisher knew about its author… —Jennifer Greenstein, Brill's Content, February 2000

  3. In fact, audiences now have become so blasé about accounts of celebrities' sordid personal lives that some stars are turning potential publicity nightmares into confessional coups. —Stephen Rebello, Vibe, May 1999

  4. He shared the sordid details of his past.

  5. <he managed to rise above the sordid streets upon which he grew up>

Origin of sordid

Latin sordidus, from sordes dirt — more at swart

First Known Use: 1606

Synonym Discussion of sordid

mean, ignoble, abject, sordid mean being below the normal standards of human decency and dignity. mean suggests small-mindedness, ill temper, or cupidity <mean and petty satire>. ignoble suggests a loss or lack of some essential high quality of mind or spirit <an ignoble scramble after material possessions>. abject may imply degradation, debasement, or servility <abject poverty>. sordid is stronger than all of these in stressing physical or spiritual degradation and abjectness <a sordid story of murder and revenge>.

Rhymes with sordid

SORDID Defined for Kids


adjective sor·did \ˈsȯr-dəd\

Definition of sordid for Students

  1. 1 :  very dirty :  filthy <sordid surroundings>

  2. 2 :  of low moral quality <a sordid life>

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