9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 forms
squalidly, adverb
squalidness, squalidity
[skwo-lid-i-tee] /skwɒˈlɪd ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
1. unclean. See dirty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for squalid
  • The urban poor often lived and worked in squalid and dangerous conditions.
  • Finding potable water is a problem for those living in squalid camps, but it may not be their biggest concern.
  • The only landscapes he noticed were window-views of houses and his own squalid gardens, full of buddleia, which he also painted.
  • Their severity typically reflects the level of development: the more squalid a country, the more virulent the cholera.
  • He often slept in a squalid homeless shelter, if not under a bridge.
  • The rest of the time, he lies on his back in a squalid motel.
  • By the end of the film, you feel you have shared his squalid life of bedbugs, cheap cooking and too many cigarettes.
  • She relates these rather squalid events in what she takes to be a proper, formal way.
  • They managed to get out, but the squalid facility is quickly filling up again.
  • Most, however, were executed or died in squalid camps.
British Dictionary definitions for squalid


dirty and repulsive, esp as a result of neglect or poverty
Derived Forms
squalidity (skwɒˈlɪdɪtɪ), squalidness, noun
squalidly, adverb
Word Origin
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
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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
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