sordid

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 sexually immoral and also because they were supposed to be kept a secret.

Definitions of sordid
1

adj foul and run-down and repulsive

sordid shantytowns”
Synonyms:
flyblown, squalid
dirty, soiled, unclean
soiled or likely to soil with dirt or grime

adj morally degraded

“"the sordid details of his orgies stank under his very nostrils"- James Joyce”
Synonyms:
seamy, seedy, sleazy, squalid
disreputable
lacking respectability in character or behavior or appearance

adj unethical or dishonest

“a sordid political campaign”
Synonyms:
dirty
corrupt
lacking in integrity

adj meanly avaricious and mercenary

sordid avarice”
sordid material interests”
Synonyms:
acquisitive
eager to acquire and possess things especially material possessions or ideas

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.