seamy

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the seamy/seamier side (of something)

The aspects of something that are unpleasant, immoral, corrupt, or degrading. It was in the private donors' club after the fundraising dinner that we saw its seamier side, as the billionaires and corporate tycoons who claim to do so much good for the world engaged in all manner of illicit activity. The film is set in the seamy side of Hollywood in the early 1950s.
See also: seamy, side

seamy side of life

Kend> Fig. the most unpleasant or roughest aspect of life. (A reference to the inside of a garment where the seams show.) Doctors in that area really see the seamy side of life. Mary saw the seamy side of life when she worked as a volunteer in the homeless shelter.
See also: life, of, seamy, side

seamy side

The sordid or base aspect of something, as in This nightclub certainly shows you the seamy side of the community. This term refers to the wrong side of a garment, revealing the stitched seams. Shakespeare used it figuratively in Othello (4:2): "That turn'd your wit the seamy side without."
See also: seamy, side

the ˈseamy side (of life, etc.)

the unpleasant, dishonest or immoral aspects (of life, etc.): It’s well known that the world of entertainment has its seamy side: drug abuse, corruption, alcoholism...
See also: seamy, side
References in periodicals archive ?
Independent counsels pursued the seamiest practices of the Reagan Administration: the HUD scandal (sixteen convictions), Iran/contra (eleven convictions), influence-peddling by presidential aides Michael Deaver and Lyn Nofziger (two convictions)--high crimes and misdemeanors all.
It's conflict so terrible that it's painful to read, much less contemplate happening in your own life with your own children: seeing girls mutilate themselves with sharp instruments; hiring an ex-Los Angeles cop to trap them and hang onto them until they can be sent off to a wilderness therapy program; searching desperately through the worst parts of San Francisco's seamiest subculture after yet another disappearance; finally giving an ultimatum to a stone-faced adversary, who happens to be your own child, that her next move will be an all-or-nothing decision for your future relationship.
For Michel, a 31-year police veteran who has seen the seamiest side of human nature, missing persons cases haunt him like no other.
Because if we've learned anything about Capitol dalliances, it's that our leaders can lie, deny, stonewall and still survive the seamiest of scandals.
The man who has promised to be fair to both parties in uncovering the seamiest side of American politics and who has seduced the media with his powerful presence and melt-in-your mouth charm has been attacked by Democrats for wanting too much money, too long an investigation and too much focus on President Clinton's fund raising.