• WordNet 3.6
    • adj sordid meanly avaricious and mercenary "sordid avarice","sordid material interests"
    • adj sordid foul and run-down and repulsive "a flyblown bar on the edge of town","a squalid overcrowded apartment in the poorest part of town","squalid living conditions","sordid shantytowns"
    • adj sordid unethical or dishonest "dirty police officers","a sordid political campaign"
    • adj sordid morally degraded "a seedy district","the seamy side of life","sleazy characters hanging around casinos","sleazy storefronts with...dirt on the walls"- Seattle Weekly","the sordid details of his orgies stank under his very nostrils"- James Joyce","the squalid atmosphere of intrigue and betrayal"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sordid Filthy; foul; dirty. "A sordid god; down from his hoary chin
      A length of beard descends, uncombed, unclean."
    • Sordid Meanly avaricious; covetous; niggardly. "He may be old,
      And yet sordid , who refuses gold."
    • Sordid Vile; base; gross; mean; as, vulgar, sordid mortals. "To scorn the sordid world."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sordid Dirty; filthy; squalid; foul.
    • sordid In bot, and zoology, of a dull or dirty hue; impure; muddy: noting a color when it appears as if clouded by admixture with another, or parts so colored: as, sordid blue, etc.
    • sordid Morally foul; gross; base; vile; ignoble; selfish; miserly.
    • sordid Low; menial; groveling.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Sordid sor′did dirty, squalid: of a dull colour: morally foul, vile: mean: meanly avaricious
    • ***


  • Publilius Syrus
    “The timid man calls himself cautious, the sordid man thrifty.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. sordidus, fr. sordere, to be filthy or dirty; probably akin to E. swart,: cf. F. sordide,. See Swart (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. sordide—L. sordidussordēre, to be dirty.


In literature:

It was a sordid picture.
"Indiscreet Letters From Peking"
I'm sorry to be sordid in this literary atmosphere, but if you really have a book worth ten bucks, you'd better sell it.
"Class of '29" by Orrie Lashin and Milo Hastings
Why is the city spoken of as "sordid"?
"Modern Prose And Poetry; For Secondary Schools" by Various
How could their pure ears be soiled with so sordid a confidence?
"Masques & Phases" by Robert Ross
He had no equipment with which to meet the sordid questions of bargain and sale.
"The Trumpeter Swan" by Temple Bailey
Hence the sordid vulgarity of the average mind-reader and humbugging spiritualist of the dark-chamber seance.
"Visionaries" by James Huneker
He had no equipment with which to meet the sordid questions of bargain and sale.
"The Trumpeter Swan" by Temple Bailey
What a sordid rut he had been content to lie in!
"Parrot & Co." by Harold MacGrath
Both Hicks and Flaherty had grown old in the towboat service and the rules of the road rested lightly on their sordid souls.
"Captain Scraggs" by Peter B. Kyne
It seems a pretty sordid sense, looking back from where we've got to now.
"The Second Latchkey" by Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

In poetry:

Worn with the vain endeavor
To fit in the sordid plan;
Doomed to be poet forever,
He longed to be only a man;
"The Poet's Town" by John Gneisenau Neihardt
Thus grief itself has comforts dear,
The sordid never know;
And ecstasy attends the tear,
When virtue bids it flow.
"Addressed To Miss Macartney, Afterwards Mrs. Greville, On Reading The Prayer For Indifference" by William Cowper
Who gives no sunshine from his soul
Must live in darkness ever,
For Nature scorns to such degree,
She blinds a sordid giver.
"Courage And Faith" by Jared Barhite
Coercing my godhead I have come down
Here on the sordid earth,
Ignorant, labouring, human grown
Twixt the gates of death and birth.
"A God's Labour" by Aurobindo Ghose
So are we all; our triumphs won
Are mean by what we might have done.
Our victories that men applaud
Are sordid in the sight of God.
"Failure" by Robert W Service
For prayer is strong, and very strong;
But we have turned from Thee so long
To follow gods that have no power
Save in the safe and sordid hour,
That to Thy feet we have lost the way . . .
O Father, teach us how to pray.
"Prayer In Time Of War" by Edith Nesbit

In news:

The sordid saga of "Killer Clown" John Wayne Gacy has taken a new twist almost 20 years after he was executed for the torture, rape and killing of 33 boys and young men in 1970s Chicago.
Now, he's suing Warner Bros for an unspecified amount of money, claiming the sordid tale is his.
Food Outback Steakhouse A sordid tale of juicy steak Jan 18 2007.
Here's a sordid tale that should that should send a chill down the spine of every man.
Garden Grove Police DepartmentHere's a sordid tale that should that should send a chill down the spine of every man.
Sordid Tales Of Sex, Lies And Red Tape.
Theatre's production of Sordid Lives.
How to Get (and Stay) Hired, Despite a Sordid Past.
On the Sordid Sale of Screening Tests.
Abramoff's Sordid World The Nation.
Cincinnati's Sordid History with Panhandlers.
Repeat of a Sordid History.
The sordid , sad, Shank engine saga.
Breakout latest chapter in prison's sordid story.
A Long (And Sometimes Sordid ) History.