Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective sordid differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of sordid are abject, ignoble, and mean. While all these words mean "being below the normal standards of human decency and dignity," sordid is stronger than all of these in stressing physical or spiritual degradation and abjectness.

a sordid story of murder and revenge

Where would abject be a reasonable alternative to sordid?

While in some cases nearly identical to sordid, abject may imply degradation, debasement, or servility.

abject poverty

When might ignoble be a better fit than sordid?

The synonyms ignoble and sordid are sometimes interchangeable, but ignoble suggests a loss or lack of some essential high quality of mind or spirit.

an ignoble scramble after material possessions

When can mean be used instead of sordid?

The words mean and sordid can be used in similar contexts, but mean suggests small-mindedness, ill temper, or cupidity.

mean and petty satire

Thesaurus Entries Near sordid

Cite this Entry

“Sordid.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on sordid

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