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1Involving immoral or dishonourable actions and motives; arousing moral distaste and contempt:‘the story paints a sordid picture of bribes and scams’
sleazy, seedy, seamy, unsavoury, shoddy, vile, foul, tawdry, louche, cheap, base, low, low-minded, debased, degenerate, corrupt, dishonest, dishonourable, disreputable, despicable, discreditable, contemptible, ignominious, ignoble, shameful, wretched, abhorrent, abominable, disgustingView synonyms
- ‘The law must contemplate the full and often sordid scope of social reality.’
- ‘But you'll bristle at the wasted resources and moral compromises involved in the whole sordid mess.’
- ‘Although outsiders view the pairing as sordid and unsavoury, the couple cling together, finding solace in this unlikely romance.’
- ‘Seen as sleazy and sordid, his early, no-budget films are in fact my favourite in his oeuvre.’
- ‘It is about the sordid deeds people's abject ambitions ultimately lead to.’
- ‘Another motive, the sordid one, is the craving for gossip, particularly the naughty kind.’
- ‘The second half of the film becomes darker and more convoluted as Almodóvar attempts to emulate film noir conventions and the film degenerates into sordid melodrama.’
- ‘But rather, you should introduce some fair and noble impression to replace it, and banish this base and sordid one.’
- ‘Bianchi is at his best when he delivers his seedy, sordid lyrics in a blank, innocent voice.’
- ‘What is being revealed in this sordid spectacle is the deep-going corruption of the traditional institutions of bourgeois rule in America.’
- ‘This story is sordid and shameful, and everyone who was involved in producing it should be ashamed of themselves.’
- ‘Yet their works continued to draw audiences; no matter how bizarre the plots, how filled with sordid family squabbles, the ghetto dwellers regarded them as a form of documentary.’
- ‘But together they present a sordid picture of a man who used his status as a minor celebrity to seduce a bevy of women, often in unsavoury circumstances.’
- ‘Despite this sordid picture, the leadership of DC 37 voted last week against direct elections by the members of top union officers.’
- ‘Fortunately for him, he will not be contemplating his sad and sordid crime from the inside of a prison cell.’
- ‘Add to that you have the tax dodge of offshore accounts and you have a rather sordid picture.’
- ‘The Dutroux case, which uncovered a sordid picture of judicial and political corruption, implicated the highest levels of Belgian society.’
- ‘After the fall of communism, part of the peace dividend that the free world enjoyed was the moral relief of being able to withdraw from such sordid partnerships.’
- ‘They say that every picture tells a story, and I'd say this picture tells a sordid one.’
- ‘The bodybuilding lifestyle as portrayed by these publications is sordid and distasteful.’
2Dirty or squalid:‘the overcrowded housing conditions were sordid and degrading’
dirty, filthy, mucky, grimy, muddy, grubby, shabby, messy, soiled, stained, smeared, smeary, scummy, slimy, sticky, sooty, dusty, unclean, foul, squalid, flea-bitten, slummyView synonyms
- ‘After 18 months of complaining to various authorities and writing to the Craven Herald, the town hall entrance is still filthy and sordid.’
- ‘At present you spend your lives in sordid labour, your abode in filthy slums; your children hunger and your masters say your slavery must endure forever.’
Late Middle English (as a medical term in the sense ‘purulent’): from French sordide or Latin sordidus, from sordere be dirty. The current senses date from the early 17th century.
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