[ skwol-id, skwaw-lid ]
/ ˈskwɒl ɪd, ˈskwɔ lɪd /


foul and repulsive, as from lack of care or cleanliness; neglected and filthy.
wretched; miserable; degraded; sordid.

Origin of squalid

1585–95; < Latin squālidus dirty, equivalent to squāl(ēre) to be dirty, encrusted + -idus -id4
Related formssqual·id·ly, adverbsqual·id·ness, squa·lid·i·ty [skwo-lid-i-tee] /skwɒˈlɪd ɪ ti/, noun

Synonym study

1. See dirty.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for squalid

British Dictionary definitions for squalid


/ (ˈskwɒlɪd) /


dirty and repulsive, esp as a result of neglect or poverty
Derived Formssqualidity (skwɒˈlɪdɪtɪ) or squalidness, nounsqualidly, adverb

Word Origin for squalid

C16: from Latin squālidus, from squālēre to be stiff with dirt
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 squalid



1590s, from Middle French squalide, from Latin squalidus "rough, coated with dirt, filthy," related to squales "filth," squalus "filthy," squalare "be covered with a rough, scaly layer, be coated with dirt, be filthy," of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper