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

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Other Words from turbid

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for turbid


cloudy, muddy, riley, roiled


clear, crystal clear, crystalline

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Did You Know?

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.

Examples of turbid in a Sentence

the pond water became turbid from our swimming and splashing

Recent Examples on the Web

This isn't rocket science Likethumb_up Replyreply Linklink Copy Reportflag a turbid ebb and flow 27 minutes ago Some of these comments are really annoying. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "‘They want to kill me’: American in Venezuela prison riot pleads for help in video," 17 May 2018 On their monitors in the control room, Matsuzaki’s team, connected to the Sunfish’s controls via the electric cable, could see only a narrow swath cut through the turbid water by the Sunfish’s lights. Vince Beiser, WIRED, "The Robot Assault On Fukushima," 26 Apr. 2018 These are adaptions for living in very turbid water. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "'Extremely rare' shark seen for first time in a decade at fish market," 20 Apr. 2018 It could also potentially be used to see through turbid water. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "This New System Can See Through Fog Far Better Than Humans," 7 Apr. 2018 Scientists are now worried that the turbid water will remain and could damage plants and animals along the lake’s fringes. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Irma is long gone, but South Florida’s watery wilderness is still feeling the pain," 20 Oct. 2017 About 5,300 acres of vegetation, made up mostly of cattails, also got uprooted and tossed into the mix, eliminating a protective boundary that helps keep turbid water from the lake’s interior away from its cleaner fringes. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Irma is long gone, but South Florida’s watery wilderness is still feeling the pain," 20 Oct. 2017 Helicopters, boats and high-water vehicles swarmed around inundated Houston neighborhoods, pulling people from their homes or from the turbid water, which was high enough in some places to gush into second floors. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Anchors flee as Houston newsroom floods on live television," 27 Aug. 2017 Its version of a New England IPA, excessively turbid due to the late addition of Citra hops, struck a chord with proponents of the burgeoning style known for its low bitterness and juice-like flavors. Jonathan Wells, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte Beer: 101," 22 Aug. 2017

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.

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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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Time Traveler for turbid

The first known use of turbid was in 1626

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More Definitions for turbid



English Language Learners Definition of turbid

formal, of a liquid : not clean or clear : cloudy or muddy


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on turbid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for turbid

Spanish Central: Translation of turbid

Nglish: Translation of turbid for Spanish Speakers

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