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
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
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.
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