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From Middle English turbide, borrowed from Latin turbidus (disturbed), from turba (mass, throng, crowd, tumult, disturbance).


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɜː(ɹ)bɪd/
    • (file)


turbid (comparative more turbid, superlative most turbid)

  1. (of a liquid) Having the lees or sediment disturbed; not clear.
    • 1827, The Medico-chirurgical Review and Journal of Medical Science:
      On the 6th October, the 18th day of her illness, she presented the following phenomena: — pulse small and quick — urine yellow and turbid.
    • 1853, Pisistratus Caxton [pseudonym; Edward Bulwer-Lytton], “Final Chapter”, in “My Novel”; Or Varieties in English Life [...] In Four Volumes, volume IV, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 457185834, book twelfth, page 283:
      He seeks in vain to occupy his days with rural pursuits; he to whom the excitements of a metropolis, with all its corruption and its vices, were the sole sources of the turbid stream that he called "pleasure!"
    • 1907, E.M. Forster, The Longest Journey, Part II, XXIII [Uniform ed., p. 217]:
      He perceived more clearly the cruelty of Nature, to whom our refinement and piety are but as bubbles, hurrying downwards on the turbid waters.
    • 2004, Jukka A. Räty, Kai-Erik Peiponen, & Toshimitsu Asakura, UV-Visible Reflection Spectroscopy of Liquids, →ISBN, page 30:
      This makes the estimation of the refractive index of the turbid liquid quite problematic.
    • 2005, Jeff Sparrow, Wild Brews: Beer Beyond the Influence of Brewer's Yeast, →ISBN:
      The resulting impression filled with turbid mash liquor, which was hand-pumped through a tube into a separate kettle.
    • 2013, Marten Scheffer, Ecology of Shallow Lakes, →ISBN, page ix:
      In the turbid state, the development of submerged vegetation is prevented by low underwater light levels.
    turbid water
    turbid wine
    Synonyms: confused, cloudy, disordered, disturbed, droff, roiled
  2. Smoky or misty.
    • 1776, Joseph Priestley, Experiments And Observations On Different Kinds Of Air:
      Towards the last I increased the heat, and by that means produced a very turbid air, of which I collected a prodigious quantity.
    • 2012, Agnes Christina Laut, The Freebooters of the Wilderness, →ISBN:
      Involuntarily, he stepped behind some alder brush off the trail. Another flutter of wind thinning the turbid mist.
    • 2014, Thad Godish, Wayne T. Davis, & Joshua S. Fu, Air Quality, →ISBN, page 112:
      The turbid air over major cities is often described as a dust dome.
    Synonyms: fumid, hazy; see also Thesaurus:nebulous
  3. Unclear; confused; obscure.
    • 2010, Adrian Mackenzie, Wirelessness: Radical Empiricism in Network Cultures, →ISBN, page 1:
      Motion, to take a good example, is originally a turbid sensation, of which the native shape is perhaps best preserved in the phenomenon of vertigo.
    • 2012, Julia James, The Dark Side Of Desire, →ISBN:
      Those turbid emotions swirled inside him again—part frustration, part anxiety.
    • 2016, Cecilia Muratori, The First German Philosopher, →ISBN:
      In the aforementioned paragraph 406 of the Encyclopedia, magnetic ecstasy is described as a confused and turbid experience because its content does not present itself in rational form: for this reason the state of the somnambulist should not be considered as a possible path to cognition (Erkenntnis).
    Synonyms: ambiguous, equivocal; see also Thesaurus:incomprehensible, Thesaurus:vague

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