Lurid means vividly shocking or sensational, often involving gruesome or vulgar details.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



sensational, shocking, graphic, vivid, exaggerated, obscene, gruesome, ghastly, macabre.


Pleasant, mild, decent, tasteful, dull, unexciting.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun luridnesses, luridness
Verb None
Adjective lurid
Adverb luridly

Example Sentences

  • The newspaper published lurid details about the murder case that shocked the entire community.

  • The horror movie was filled with lurid scenes of violence and gore that made some viewers feel sick.

  • The tabloid magazine always features lurid stories about celebrities and their scandalous lives.

  • The witness gave a lurid description of the accident that left many people in shock.


Lurid is a versatile adjective that can be used to describe events or things that are vivid, sensational, graphic, or shocking, often in a negative way. This word can be used in a variety of contexts, from describing a gruesome crime scene to the lurid details of a celebrity’s scandalous life. The word “lurid” is derived from the Latin word “luridus,” which means pale yellow or ghastly, and it is often used to describe scenes or situations that are particularly unpleasant or shocking in nature.

One variation of the word “lurid” is “Luridly,” which is an adverb form that can be used to intensify the meaning of the adjective. For example, “he recounted the story of his escape from the burning building luridly, leaving his listeners horrified.” Another variation is the prefix “ultra-” which can be added to the word to create the adjective “ultra-lurid,” which connotes extreme or intense vividness or sensationalism.

In modern culture, lurid stories and details are often featured in tabloid magazines and reality TV shows, where the sensational nature of the content is often prioritized over accuracy or taste. This has led to the word “lurid” taking on a somewhat negative connotation, and it is often used to describe content that is seen as vulgar, tasteless, or inappropriate. Nonetheless, the word still has a legitimate use in describing events, scenes or objects that are vividly dramatic or shocking, and its versatility means that it remains a useful word in contemporary English.