lu·​rid | \ ˈlu̇r-əd How to pronounce lurid (audio) \

Definition of lurid

1a : causing horror or revulsion : gruesome The tabloids gave all the lurid details of floating wreckage and dismembered bodies.
b : melodramatic, sensational also : shocking paperbacks in the usual lurid covers — T. R. Fyvel
2a : wan and ghastly pale in appearance frightened to death by the lurid waxworks— Sara H. Hay
b : of any of several light or medium grayish colors ranging in hue from yellow to orange
3 : shining with the red glow of fire seen through smoke or cloud lurid flames

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Other Words from lurid

luridly adverb
luridness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for lurid

ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, lurid mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts. a ghastly accident grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty. an unusually grisly murder suffered a gruesome death macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death. a macabre tale of premature burial lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder. the lurid details of a crime

Examples of lurid in a Sentence

a lurid tale of violence and betrayal the lurid lighting of a nightclub The light from the fire cast a lurid glow on everything.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Her arc is far more lurid than Kathy’s behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing, and Berloff can’t get the two tones to co-exist; dozens of transitions in The Kitchen are jarring as a result. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Kitchen Can’t Figure Out What Kind of Gangster Film It Is," 9 Aug. 2019 Pink can work - take a look at some of Palermo's home shirts - but pink that is this lurid is a no-go., "50 Worst Football Shirts of All Time," 3 July 2019 Underlying all this hate, there appears to persist a kind of lurid disbelief: Can someone really be this way? Jamie Lauren Keiles, Time, "'What Do People Want Me to Do? Wear Black Every Day?': How Child Star JoJo Siwa Built Her Sparkly Empire," 22 Aug. 2019 The notoriety Manson hoped to achieve as a rock star in the 1960s came to him instead through the gruesome killings of August 1969 — and the nation’s insatiable appetite for lurid details about those crimes and his free-love commune. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Charles Manson was a white supremacist. Why can’t pop culture seem to admit it?," 19 Aug. 2019 Video games had incited moral panics for decades by this time—from concerns about driving over stick figures in 1976’s Death Race to the lurid draw of the video arcade in 1982 to the gore in Mortal Kombat in 1993. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Video-Game Violence Is Now a Partisan Issue," 5 Aug. 2019 The lurid case was already shrouded in mystery and scandal even before Epstein’s death added a morbid twist. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, "Attorney general vows to ‘hold people accountable’ at jail where Jeffrey Epstein died," 12 Aug. 2019 The pop star serves as a beacon of moody dynamism, a vibe communicated by her lyrics and aesthetic, from beauty cues to lurid music videos. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Billie Eilish Gets Real About Her Struggles With Body Dysmorphia," 1 Aug. 2019 The child’s killing became a media sensation because of her participation in beauty pageants at such a young age and because of the lurid nature of the crime, which has never been solved. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Ariana Grande listens to fans, apologizes for joke about JonBenet Ramsey," 31 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lurid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lurid

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lurid

Latin luridus pale yellow, sallow

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Statistics for lurid

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lurid

The first known use of lurid was in 1603

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English Language Learners Definition of lurid

: causing shock or disgust : involving sex or violence in a way that is meant to be shocking
: shining or glowing with a bright and unpleasant color


lu·​rid | \ ˈlu̇r-əd How to pronounce lurid (audio) \

Kids Definition of lurid

1 : causing shock or disgust a lurid story
2 : glowing with an overly bright color lurid neon lights

Other Words from lurid

luridly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on lurid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lurid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lurid

Spanish Central: Translation of lurid

Nglish: Translation of lurid for Spanish Speakers

Comments on lurid

What made you want to look up lurid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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