Definition of squalor in US English:

squalor

noun

  • The state of being extremely dirty and unpleasant, especially as a result of poverty or neglect.

    ‘they lived in squalor and disease’
    • ‘The heat, humidity and squalor of the flooded city is causing panic and desperation.’
    • ‘The musicals of the '30s are enjoyable, in part because they don't dwell on misfortune and squalor and poverty.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the only two city shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair.’
    • ‘Many live in squalor, some in tent villages, others in ramshackle public buildings.’
    • ‘To medieval city-dwellers, especially the poor, rural squalor was a terrible and recent memory.’
    • ‘She's content to live in utter squalor, while the detritus of daily living piles up around her.’
    • ‘They have been abandoned by their owners and now house illegal tenants who live in squalor and fear.’
    • ‘They live in appalling squalor with very little food, shelter or medical supplies.’
    • ‘But patience has run out among people who have been living in squalor.’
    • ‘He claims that his family's early life on the north bank of the River Aire in Leeds was one of squalor.’
    • ‘The great majority of the population lived in varying degrees of squalor.’
    • ‘He died there in October 1774 amid scenes of unbelievable squalor.’
    • ‘Perhaps it was her upbringing in the slums of Dundee, where squalor and drunkenness were a sad part of daily life, that made her more able to cope.’
    • ‘But the residents say they are being forced to live in near squalor by a council that seems to have forgotten they exist.’
    • ‘Buchanan Street's George Hotel was the essential backdrop for any film director looking to portray urban squalor.’
    • ‘They are places of appalling squalor, repression and violence, where a few dollars earned by running drugs is a good wage.’
    • ‘Ten months after the disaster, most of the victims are still living in squalor.’
    • ‘London's population had continued to grow and many lived in squalor and poverty.’
    • ‘It is a country beset by poverty, squalor, inequality and violence.’
    • ‘There was none of the filth and squalor they regarded as inseparable from city life.’
    dirt, dirtiness, squalidness, filth, filthiness, grubbiness, grime, griminess, muck, muckiness, slumminess, foulness, vileness, poverty, wretchedness, dinginess, meanness, nastiness, seediness, shabbiness, sordidness, sleaziness, insalubrity, slovenliness, repulsiveness
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century: from Latin, from squalere ‘be dirty’.

Pronunciation

squalor

/ˈskwɑlər//ˈskwälər/