sordid (adj.)

early 15c., sordide, of a bodily sore, "festering" (Chauliac), from Latin sordidus "dirty, filthy, foul, vile, mean, base," from sordere "be dirty, be shabby," related to sordes "dirt, filth," which might be from a PIE root *swordo- "black, dirty" (source also of Old English sweart "black;" compare swart).

In reference to actions or habits, the sense of "low, mean, ignoble" is recorded by 1610s. Related: Sordidly; sordidity; sordidness.

updated on March 21, 2023