morally ignoble or base; vile: sordid methods.
meanly selfish, self-seeking, or mercenary.
dirty or filthy.
squalid; wretchedly poor and run-down: sordid housing.

Nearby words

  1. sorcerously,
  2. sorcery,
  3. sord,
  4. sordello,
  5. sordes,
  6. sordidly,
  7. sordino,
  8. sore,
  9. sore point, a,
  10. sore shin

Origin of sordid

1590–1600; < Latin sordidus, equivalent to sord(ēs) dirt + -idus -id4

1. degraded, depraved. See mean2. 2. avaricious, tight, close, stingy. 3. soiled, unclean, foul.

Related forms
Can be confusedsordid sorted Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sordid

British Dictionary definitions for sordid



dirty, foul, or squalid
degraded; vile; basea sordid affair
selfish and graspingsordid avarice
Derived Formssordidly, adverbsordidness, noun

Word Origin for sordid

C16: from Latin sordidus, from sordēre to be dirty

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 sordid



early 15c., "festering," from Latin sordidus "dirty, filthy, foul, vile, mean, base," from sordere "be dirty, be shabby," related to sordes "dirt, filth," from PIE *swrd-e-, from root *swordo- "black, dirty" (cf. Old English sweart "black"). Sense of "foul, low, mean" first recorded 1610s. Related: Sordidly; sordidness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper