Definition of lurid in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈl(j)ʊərɪd/


1Unpleasantly bright in colour, especially so as to create a harsh or unnatural effect: lurid food colourings a pair of lurid shorts
More example sentences
  • These effects are sometimes too lurid to be pleasant.
  • These prints are evenly saturated with color and a bright, almost lurid light of a consistent value.
  • She will however, still be perched behind a glass of lurid colour, only this time it will be decorated with umbrella, sparkler and assorted fruitery.
brightly coloured, bright, over-bright, brilliant, glaring, fluorescent, flaming, dazzling, vivid, intense;
showy, gaudy, loud
1.1Presented in vividly shocking or sensational terms: the more lurid details of the massacre were too frightening for the children
More example sentences
  • Playing at or discussing sex - even in graphic lurid detail - isn't really anything to freak out about.
  • Newspapers also report, in lurid and graphic detail, cases of abuse that these women experience.
  • Within an hour of hearing this news I was assailed by the first of countless journalists and by next morning my son's death was in every paper in the most lurid of terms.
sensational, sensationalist, melodramatic, exaggerated, overdramatized, extravagant, colourful, trashy, rubbishy, cheap, pulp, tasteless, kitschy;
salacious, graphic, explicit, unrestrained, prurient, ribald, suggestive, shocking, startling, dirty, filthy;
gruesome, gory, grisly, macabre, repugnant, revolting, disgusting, ghastly, morbid, unearthly, grotesque, hideous, horrifying, appalling
informal tacky, shock-horror, juicy, full-frontal



Pronunciation: /ˈljʊərɪdli/
Example sentences
  • The female characters are luridly described as, ‘a large woman, her legs were as thick as tree trunks… She had a small waist and large booty which switched from side to side with each step she took.’
  • The fatal truck has ‘Jesus Saves’ painted luridly along the side; earlier, the driver, Jack, had confidently talked of Jesus picking out that truck just for him, because God has a detailed plan for us all.
  • No matter how toe - curlingly awful the King's TV and pop music references become, they simply cannot compete with the luridly unforgettable image of Janette in 80s Madonna-style basque and suspenders.


Pronunciation: /ˈlʊərɪdnəs/
Example sentences
  • In any case, superficially Sirk's work has a pokerfaced luridness that has all but disappeared from our movies.
  • Without soap-opera luridness or movie product-placement, it takes the listener a while to adjust to their low-impact pleasures.
  • No wonder we rarely saw our Uncle Donald - and who wants the weird luridness that The Gay Uncle seems to come built-in with in our family?


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'pale and dismal in colour'): from Latin luridus; related to luror 'wan or yellow colour'.

  • The early sense of lurid was ‘pale and dismal in colour’. It comes from Latin luridus, related to luror ‘a wan or yellow colour’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: lurid

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