Definition of lurid in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlo͝orəd/


1Very vivid in color, especially so as to create an unpleasantly harsh or unnatural effect: lurid food colorings 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.
bright, brilliant, vivid, glaring, shocking, fluorescent, flaming, dazzling, intense;
gaudy, loud, showy, bold, garish, tacky
1.1(Of a description) presented in vividly shocking or sensational terms, especially giving explicit details of crimes or sexual matters: 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, exaggerated, overdramatized, colorful;
salacious, graphic, explicit, unrestrained, prurient, shocking;
gruesome, gory, grisly
informal juicy, full-frontal



Pronunciation: /ˈlo͝orədlē/
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: /ˈlo͝orədnəs/
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 color'): from Latin luridus; related to luror 'wan or yellow color'.

  • 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

Syllabification: lu·rid

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