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[skwol-er, skwaw-ler] /ˈskwɒl ər, ˈskwɔ lər/
the condition of being squalid; filth and misery.
Origin of squalor
1615-25; < Latin squālor dirtiness, equivalent to squāl(ēre) to be dirty, encrusted + -or -or1
splendor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for squalor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That squalor which dogs the heel of poverty was everywhere manifest.

    An Ambitious Woman Edgar Fawcett
  • This squalor, this bare loneliness, was the harsh penalty of failure.

    The Man from the Bitter Roots Caroline Lockhart
  • Once, in the heart of a thick darkness of squalor and misery, he had seen a great light and the name of it was love for his kind.

    The Price Francis Lynde
  • They may be surrounded by intelligence and luxury or by ignorance and squalor.

  • Dirt and squalor do not affect them; it is the damp and cold and lack of sunshine that so very soon proves fatal.

    The Czar's Spy William Le Queux
British Dictionary definitions for squalor


the condition or quality of being squalid; disgusting dirt and filth
Word Origin
C17: from Latin
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 squalor

1620s, "state or condition of being miserable and dirty," from Latin squalor, related to squalere "be filthy" (see squalid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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