Describe a person's actions as sordid if they are so immoral or unethical that they seem dirty. Think of the worst parts of a bad soap opera!

Sordid comes from the Latin word sordes, "dirt." Something that is filthy or run down such as a neighborhood or someone's living conditions can be called sordid, but it is usually used figuratively to mean immoral or dishonest. If you want to hear the sordid details of someone's actions, it's because they were extremely dishonest or immoral and also because they were supposed to be kept a secret.

Definitions of sordid
  1. adjective
    foul and run-down and repulsive
    sordid shantytowns”
    synonyms: flyblown, squalid
    dirty, soiled, unclean
    soiled or likely to soil with dirt or grime
  2. adjective
    morally degraded
    synonyms: seamy, seedy, sleazy, squalid
    lacking respectability in character or behavior or appearance
  3. adjective
    unethical or dishonest
    “a sordid political campaign”
    synonyms: dirty
    lacking in integrity
  4. adjective
    meanly avaricious and mercenary
    sordid avarice”
    sordid material interests”
    eager to acquire and possess things especially material possessions or ideas
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month