gruesome; horrible; revolting: the lurid details of an accident.
glaringly vivid or sensational; shocking: the lurid tales of pulp magazines.
terrible in intensity, fierce passion, or unrestraint: lurid crimes.
lighted or shining with an unnatural, fiery glow; wildly or garishly red: a lurid sunset.
wan, pallid, or ghastly in hue; livid.

Origin of lurid

First recorded in 1650–60, lurid is from the Latin word lūridus sallow, ghastly
Related formslu·rid·ly, adverblu·rid·ness, noun

Synonyms for lurid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lurid

Contemporary Examples of lurid

Historical Examples of lurid

  • The lurid light of the fire showed us ourselves in distorted shadows.

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

  • "You paint a lurid picture" I said, when he stopped for breath.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • It was the work of a lurid lady novelist, popular some ten years before.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • "Issy" was a lover of certain kinds of literature and reveled in lurid fiction.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It had bathed the whole world in another light—a lurid light.

British Dictionary definitions for lurid



vivid in shocking detail; sensational
horrible in savagery or violence
pallid in colour; wan
glowing with an unnatural glare
Derived Formsluridly, adverbluridness, noun

Word Origin for lurid

C17: from Latin lūridus pale yellow; probably related to lūtum a yellow vegetable dye
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for lurid

1650s, "pale," from Latin luridus "pale yellow, ghastly," of uncertain origin, perhaps cognate with Greek khloros (see Chloe). Meaning "glowing in the darkness" is from 1727. The figurative sense of "sensational" is first attested 1850. Related: Luridly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper