tur·​bid | \ ˈtər-bəd How to pronounce turbid (audio) \

Definition of turbid

1a : thick or opaque with or as if with roiled sediment a turbid stream
b : heavy with smoke or mist
2a : deficient in clarity or purity : foul, muddy turbid depths of degradation and misery— C. I. Glicksberg
b : characterized by or producing obscurity (as of mind or emotions) an emotionally turbid response

Other Words from turbid

turbidity \ ˌtər-​ˈbi-​də-​tē How to pronounce turbid (audio) \ noun
turbidly \ ˈtər-​bəd-​lē How to pronounce turbid (audio) \ adverb
turbidness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for turbid



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Turbid and turgid (which means "swollen or distended" or "overblown, pompous, or bombastic") are frequently mistaken for one another, and it's no wonder. Not only do the two words differ by only a letter, they are often used in contexts where either word could fit. For example, a flooded stream can be simultaneously cloudy and swollen, and badly written prose might be both unclear and grandiloquent. Nevertheless, the distinction between these two words, however fine, is an important one for conveying exact shades of meaning, so it's a good idea to keep them straight. Turbid, like its relative turbulent, comes ultimately from the Latin noun turba, meaning "confusion" or "crowd."

Examples of turbid in a Sentence

the pond water became turbid from our swimming and splashing
Recent Examples on the Web The city says larger Ashokan releases over the past decade have all been to regulate reservoir levels, though critics say the water released after storms can be turbid just the same. Michael Hill, ajc, 21 Apr. 2022 The pair of water releases came shortly after the city issued its environmental impact statement projecting that releases of extremely turbid water from the channel would rarely happen. Michael Hill, ajc, 21 Apr. 2022 Sharks thrash about in the turbid water between us and the man. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 In the Indian River Lagoon, the turbid brown waters are much less hospitable. New York Times, 9 Apr. 2022 Instead, its turbid waters are infested with nonnative invasive plants and fish, particularly carp that had been deliberately introduced in 1883. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Sep. 2021 Maddox said operators at the Ed Love Raw Water Intake Station began noticing signs of a water leak about 6 a.m. this morning, meaning turbid water and depressurization. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 20 June 2021 Trap nets are always most effective on lakes with turbid water that distorts the fish’s vision. Dallas News, 8 May 2021 Originating in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia, just south of the Chesapeake Bay, the Elizabeth River is turbid and brackish, its banks redolent with the nose-wrinkling stench of rotting vegetation. Carrie Arnold, The Atlantic, 15 Mar. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of turbid

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for turbid

Latin turbidus confused, turbid, from turba confusion, crowd, probably from Greek tyrbē confusion

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Turbid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turbid. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for turbid


tur·​bid | \ ˈtər-bəd How to pronounce turbid (audio) \

Kids Definition of turbid

: dark or discolored with sediment a turbid stream


tur·​bid | \ ˈtər-bəd How to pronounce turbid (audio) \

Medical Definition of turbid

: thick or opaque with matter in suspension : cloudy or muddy in appearance turbid urine

More from Merriam-Webster on turbid

Nglish: Translation of turbid for Spanish Speakers


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