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Borrowed from Latin lūridus (pale yellow, wan).



lurid (comparative more lurid, superlative most lurid)

  1. Shocking, horrifying, especially when it comes to violence or sex.
    The accident was described with lurid detail.
    • 2021 May 22, Dalya Alberge, “John Steinbeck’s estate urged to let the world read his shunned werewolf novel”, in The Observer[1]:
      Speculating on why publishers rejected it, he wonders whether it was deemed too lurid at the time, especially since Steinbeck was then an unknown author.
  2. Melodramatic.
  3. Ghastly, pale, wan in appearance.
  4. Being of a light yellow hue.
    The lurid lighting of the bar made for a very hazy atmosphere.
  5. (botany) Having a brown colour tinged with red.
    • 1976, Ethnology:
      a lurid plant with maroon leaves and pink flowers
  6. (zoology) Having a colour tinged with purple, yellow, and grey.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “lurid”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)