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How to pronounce lurid (audio)
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook

Dictionary definition of lurid

Shockingly vivid, sensationalized, or marked by intense, often disturbing, and graphic details.
"The movie's poster featured a lurid image that hinted at the film's dark themes."

Detailed meaning of lurid

When something is characterized as lurid, it often implies an explicit or exaggerated portrayal of events, emotions, or circumstances, typically with the aim of provoking strong reactions, such as shock, disgust, or fascination. This term can be applied to various contexts, such as lurid details in a sensational news story, lurid colors in a garish painting, or a lurid description in a novel that depicts violent or explicit scenes. "Lurid" underscores the idea of something being shocking or sensational, often emphasizing the use of vivid and provocative elements to capture attention or evoke intense emotions.

Example sentences containing lurid

1. The newspaper article described the crime scene in lurid detail.
2. The tabloid newspaper featured a lurid headline that sensationalized the scandal.
3. The crime scene was illuminated by the lurid glow of flashing police lights.
4. The artist used lurid colors to create a disconcerting and unsettling atmosphere in the painting.
5. The detective described the details of the crime scene in lurid and graphic terms.
6. The novel's lurid descriptions of violence and gore shocked and disturbed readers.

History and etymology of lurid

The adjective 'lurid' has its etymological origins in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'luridus,' which originally meant 'pale' or 'sallow.' However, over time, its meaning evolved to describe a sickly, pale or wan complexion, often associated with death or illness. In the 17th century, 'lurid' began to take on a metaphorical sense, signifying something that is shockingly vivid or sensationalized, often marked by intense, disturbing, and graphic details. This transformation reflects the idea that the pallor of death or illness can evoke strong and unsettling emotions. 'Lurid' is commonly used to describe narratives, descriptions, or depictions that are sensational or excessively graphic, aiming to provoke strong reactions in the audience or readership.

Quiz: Find the meaning of lurid

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Further usage examples of lurid

1. The horror movie relied on lurid visuals to create a sense of unease and fear.
2. The witness's lurid testimony revealed shocking secrets about the defendant.
3. The tabloid magazine published lurid stories about celebrities' personal lives.
4. The stormy sky painted a lurid backdrop for the eerie moonlit landscape.
5. The novelist's use of lurid metaphors added intensity to the emotional narrative.
6. The crime novel was known for its lurid depiction of the city's criminal underworld.
7. The journalist's article provided lurid details about the mysterious disappearance.
8. The play delved into the lurid aspects of human nature, exposing hidden desires and fears.
9. The true crime documentary explored the lurid details of a notorious unsolved case.
10. The photographer captured the lurid glow of neon signs against the urban backdrop.
11. The actress portrayed the antagonist with a lurid charm that both fascinated and repelled.
12. The abandoned house was surrounded by an air of lurid mystery.
13. The scandalous affair was the subject of lurid gossip and speculation.
14. The courtroom drama unraveled the lurid motives behind the crime, revealing a complex web of intrigue.

sensational, understated, muted, toned-down

GRE 10 (Graduate Record Examination), Drama and Overreaction, Art and Creativity




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