9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[sawr-did] /ˈsɔr dɪd/
morally ignoble or base; vile:
sordid methods.
meanly selfish, self-seeking, or mercenary.
dirty or filthy.
squalid; wretchedly poor and run-down:
sordid housing.
Origin of sordid
1590-1600; < Latin sordidus, equivalent to sord(ēs) dirt + -idus -id4
Related forms
sordidly, adverb
sordidness, noun
unsordid, adjective
unsordidly, adverb
unsordidness, noun
Can be confused
sordid, sorted.
1. degraded, depraved. See mean2 . 2. avaricious, tight, close, stingy. 3. soiled, unclean, foul.
1. honorable. 2. generous. 3. clean. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sordid
  • But the torch and the opening ceremony transcended those rather sordid origins, and it became this wonderful tradition.
  • The sordid history of mixing genetics, ethnicity and intellect guarantees a spotlight on this work.
  • He'd then refer to some incident and twist the scenario into a sordid situation that never took place.
  • However, when the courts enter this mirk of secrecy it only add one more layer of confusion and complexity to this sordid horror.
  • It is strange to think that such sordid motives might affect something as pure and objective as physics.
  • Traces the sordid history of the president's descendants.
  • How many sink into the sordid hut of cheerless poverty.
  • But the story of his life must be admitted to be in its externals a painful and somewhat sordid chronicle.
  • Few have ever equalled him in the portrayal of the sordid, every-day realities of poverty.
  • Nor were her gifts all in the sordid coin of commerce.
British Dictionary definitions for sordid


dirty, foul, or squalid
degraded; vile; base: a sordid affair
selfish and grasping: sordid avarice
Derived Forms
sordidly, adverb
sordidness, noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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