a newspaper whose pages, usually five columns wide, are about one-half the size of a standard-sized newspaper page.
a newspaper this size concentrating on sensational and lurid news, usually heavily illustrated.
a short form or version; condensation; synopsis; summary.
compressed or condensed in or as if in a tabloid: a tabloid article; a tabloid account of the adventure.
luridly or vulgarly sensational.

1905–10; tabl(et) + -oid

tabloidism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tabloid (ˈtæblɔɪd)
1.  Compare broadsheet a newspaper with pages about 30 cm (12 inches) by 40 cm (16 inches), usually characterized by an emphasis on photographs and a concise and often sensational style
2.  (modifier) designed to appeal to a mass audience or readership; sensationalist: the tabloid press; tabloid television
[C20: from earlier Tabloid, a trademark for a medicine in tablet form]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1884, "small tablet of medicine," trademark name (by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co.) for compressed or concentrated chemicals and drugs, formed from tablet + Gk.-derived suffix -oid, from oeides "like." By 1898, it was being used figuratively to mean a compressed form or dose
of anything, hence tabloid journalism (1901), and newspapers that typified it (1918), so called for having short, condensed news articles and/or for being small in size.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He has a degree in journalism and has been a writer and editor for several
  tabloid newspapers.
Tabloid journalism generates hype to generate money.
Either way, let's go the scientific way instead of the tabloid way.
The tabloid tends to aggressively go after the royal family.
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