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[tab-loid] /ˈtæb lɔɪd/
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
Related forms
tabloidism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tabloids
  • Since no time traveler has shown up yet-check-out aisle tabloids notwithstanding-no such machine has yet been invented.
  • It is, at best, an editorial suited for the tabloids and network news publications.
  • It uses the trashy tropes of the tabloids to make a universal statement about prejudice and acceptance.
  • He represents celebrity clients in lawsuits against the supermarket tabloids.
  • Lately, he has perhaps been a more reliable presence in the tabloids than at the upper reaches of the box-office charts.
  • What the tabloids won't tell you is that the fall of the dinosaurs, while spectacular, is second-rate.
  • The media and tabloids are responsible for ruining his career.
  • But for once, an idea that plays well in the tabloids also turned out to be true.
  • The problem with tabloids isn't really that the headlines grow worse.
  • The report was immediately leaked for money to the tabloids, and the media had a field day.
British Dictionary definitions for tabloids


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 Compare broadsheet
(modifier) designed to appeal to a mass audience or readership; sensationalist: the tabloid press, tabloid television
Word Origin
C20: from earlier Tabloid, a trademark for a medicine in tablet form
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 tabloids



1884, "small tablet of medicine," trademark name (by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co.) for compressed or concentrated chemicals and drugs, formed from tablet + Greek-derived suffix -oid. 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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