Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Causing shock or horror; gruesome.
  • adj. Marked by sensationalism: a lurid account of the crime. See Synonyms at ghastly.
  • adj. Glowing or shining with the glare of fire through a haze: lurid flames.
  • adj. Sallow or pallid in color.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Shocking, horrifying.
  • adj. Melodramatic.
  • adj. Ghastly, pale, wan in appearance.
  • adj. Being of a light yellow hue.
  • adj. Having a brown colour tinged with red, as of flame seen through smoke.
  • adj. Having a colour tinged with purple, yellow, and grey.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pale yellow; ghastly pale; wan; gloomy; dismal.
  • adj. Having a brown color tinged with red, as of flame seen through smoke.
  • adj. Of a color tinged with purple, yellow, and gray.
  • adj. Vivid, sensational, or shocking; graphic or melodramatic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pale; wan; ghastly; of the color or appearance of dull smoky flames; having the character of a light which does not show the colors of objects.
  • Lighted up with a ghastly glare; combining light and gloom.
  • In botany and zoology, having a dirty-brown color; slightly clouded.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. horrible in fierceness or savagery
  • adj. ghastly pale
  • adj. glaringly vivid and graphic; marked by sensationalism
  • adj. shining with an unnatural red glow as of fire seen through smoke

Etymologies

Latin lūridus, pale, from lūror, paleness.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin lūridus ("pale yellow, wan") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • On the day of the murder, Albert DeSalvothe man who would eventually confess in lurid detail to the Strangler's crimesis also in Belmont, working as a carpenter at the Jungers 'home.

    A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger: Book summary

  • If pop really did eat itself some 20-odd years ago, then recent months have seen it spew up the contents of its stomach in lurid fashion.

    Witch house and the musicians taking us back to the future

  • The plays I had been in, with my parts underlined in lurid orange.

    Excerpt: In A Dark Wood by Amanda Craig

  • Its genius was frankly militaristic, its history is written in lurid characters before our eyes.

    Annual Meeting and Ladies Night/Our Nation Considered as an Ethical Idea

  • Yes, Jack laughed and bouyed up the spirits of the Ranch while his dream castle ascended in lurid smoke that hot August night.

    Jack London:Wolf House, A Unique Memorial

  • Then, when the wool was wetted, or when some other teams behind disputed the right of way in lurid terms which Lady Bridget was now beginning to accept as inevitably concomitant with bullocks, the first dray would proceed, all the cattle bells jingling and making, in the distance, not unpleasant music.

    Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land

  • Impossible to describe without using the word lurid, Leave Her to Heaven features more perverse activity than any number of more celebrated cult faves-including Nicholas Ray's infamous Joan Crawford western

    New York Press

  • Caplan’s willingness to embrace the darkness, however, is what makes this book so important: It articulates in lurid detail the obscene id of Chicago-school, Grover-Norquist-style, free market fundamentalism (a term Caplan spends a chapter rebutting).

    Bryan Gets Some Pushback, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Flanagan creates these imaginary school-supply-closet trysts — rendering them in lurid detail — in order to set up a false choice: if it’s being treated like glass or treated like dirt, most of us would choose glass.

    Letters to the Editor

  • The flashbacks are bright, airy, and heavily stylized, recalling the lurid sexual and visual excesses of late Fellini or Pasolini, while the present-day scenes are dark, moody, and shadowy, heavily favoring deep blues with little trace of other colors.

    Archive 2008-08-01

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