Squalid things appear neglected, or morally repulsive in nature, like a frat house after a semester of hard partying and zero cleanup.

Squalid comes from the Latin word squalare, meaning to “be covered with a rough, scaly layer.” A few word evolutions later and we have squalid, a word that describes something distasteful, dirty, unattractive, and as unkempt in appearance as the dry, scaly skin of an armadillo, or a room filled with pizza boxes, flickering light bulbs, and stained wallpaper. Squalid behavior is dirty, too, like cheating on a test and lying about it.

Definitions of squalid
  1. adjective
    foul and run-down and repulsive
    “a squalid overcrowded apartment in the poorest part of town”
    squalid living conditions”
    synonyms: flyblown, sordid
    dirty, soiled, unclean
    soiled or likely to soil with dirt or grime
  2. adjective
    morally degraded
    “the squalid atmosphere of intrigue and betrayal”
    synonyms: seamy, seedy, sleazy, sordid
    lacking respectability in character or behavior or appearance
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