lurid

adjective

lu·​rid ˈlu̇r-əd How to pronounce lurid (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
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

Example Sentences

a lurid tale of violence and betrayal the lurid lighting of a nightclub The light from the fire cast a lurid glow on everything.
Recent Examples on the Web Pakistani media have aired various lurid theories about the night Sharif died. Bethlehem Feleke, CNN, 2 Dec. 2022 Filled with lurid details from contemporary newspapers, which breathlessly covered the most salacious divorce cases, the book cleverly examines how these bids for marital freedom reflected broader societal changes in Gilded Age America. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Nov. 2022 Their scam was one of the most lurid by swindlers who took advantage of the government’s rush to give businesses trillions of dollars in pandemic relief. Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2022 Among the most shameful events of the midterm election season this year has been the rumor-mongering and conspiracy-theorizing about what lurid things could have led to the attack on the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 7 Nov. 2022 Lafcadio Hearn began his journalism career writing lurid details of the gruesome Tanyard Murder for The Enquirer in November 1874. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, 30 Oct. 2022 An additional treat: the label, echoing the lurid art from the EC horror comics of the 1950s. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Oct. 2022 Many who may not have seen the photos still got in on the voyeuristic action by joining in the lurid commentary about them. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 26 Oct. 2022 Some of the lurid suits Mr. Marchitelli has made for athletes push the limits of good taste. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Latin luridus pale yellow, sallow

First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of lurid was in 1603

Dictionary Entries Near lurid

Cite this Entry

“Lurid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lurid. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

lurid

adjective

lu·​rid ˈlu̇r-əd How to pronounce lurid (audio)
1
a
: causing horror or disgust : gruesome
lurid tales of murder
b
: sensational sense 2
lurid book covers
2
: lifelessly pale : wan
3
: shining with the red glow of fire seen through smoke
luridly adverb
luridness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on lurid

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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