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From Latin turgidus (swollen, inflated), from turgeō (to swell).



turgid (comparative more turgid, superlative most turgid)

  1. Distended beyond the natural state by some internal agent, especially fluid, or expansive force.
    Synonyms: bloated, distended, inflated, swelled, swollen, tumescent, tumid, turgescent
    I have a turgid limb.
    • 2004, Harold McGee, chapter 5, in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Scribner, →ISBN:
      A vegetable that is fully moist and firm will seem both crisp and more tender than the same vegetable limp from water loss. When we bite down on a vegetable turgid with water, the already-stressed cell walls readily break and the cells burst open; in a limp vegetable, chewing compresses the walls together, and we have to exert much more pressure to break through them.
  2. (of language or style) Overly complex and difficult to understand; grandiloquent; bombastic.
    Synonyms: bombastic, grandiose, pompous
    • 1976, William Zinsser, On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition, Kindle edition, Harper Perennial, published 2012, →ISBN, page 172:
      These were all basic tenets, but the principals wrote them down as if they had never heard them before—and maybe they hadn’t, or at least not for many years. Perhaps that’s why bureaucratic prose becomes so turgid, whatever the bureaucracy.
    • 1997, David Foster Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram: television and U.S. fiction”, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Kindle edition, Little, Brown Book Group:
      Published TV-scholarship sure reflects this mood. And the numbingly dull quality to most “literary” television analyses is due less to the turgid abstraction scholars employ to make television seem an OK object of aesthetic inquiry []

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