• synonyms


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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for luridly

Contemporary Examples of luridly

Historical Examples of luridly

  • Nor had he any choice but to listen to the luridly narrated facts.

  • All the plain was smoky or luridly lit; a vast Shield of Mars, with War in action.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • Then into the sky leaped another ray, narrow, luridly green.

    Wandl the Invader

    Raymond King Cummings

  • "Do what you please," was in effect Winter's luridly adjectived answer.

    The Motor Pirate

    George Sidney Paternoster

  • What if there was champagne in it after all, so Miss Mapp luridly conjectured!

    Miss Mapp

    Edward Frederic Benson

British Dictionary definitions for luridly


  1. vivid in shocking detail; sensational
  2. horrible in savagery or violence
  3. pallid in colour; wan
  4. glowing with an unnatural glare
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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 luridly



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper