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[loo r-id] /ˈlʊər ɪd/
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
1650-60; < Latin lūridus sallow, ghastly
Related forms
luridly, adverb
luridness, noun
5. dismal, pale, murky. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lurid
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The shepherd who passed him looked gray and spectral in the lurid light.

    Debit and Credit Gustav Freytag
  • The lurid light of the fire showed us ourselves in distorted shadows.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • A green glow took their place—a lurid sheen in which the cubby and the tense faces of De Boer and Hans showed with ghastly pallor.

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

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • There was a lurid streak of dawn low down in the sky, and Kosmaroff headed his boat towards it across the chill, green waters.

    The Vultures Henry Seton Merriman
British Dictionary definitions for lurid


/ˈlʊərɪd; ˈljʊərɪd/
vivid in shocking detail; sensational
horrible in savagery or violence
pallid in colour; wan
glowing with an unnatural glare
Derived Forms
luridly, adverb
luridness, noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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