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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 ?
Knox, in her short time in Italy, had already managed to snare herself a local boyfriend and was in touch with the seamier side of life there, on personal terms with known drug dealer Rudy Guede.
But it's not all good news of course: one of the seamier sides of growing international commerce is the abduction and trafficking of human beings.
Here they recount the August 1911 theft of Leonardo de Vinci's Mona Lisa from the Louvre, and the investigation that ensued into some of the seamier parts of the French capital, where lifting a painting was one of the less spectacular crimes being committed.
You have only to note the MPs' allowances scandal to understand how important it is that in an open society reporters with suitable skills are at liberty to probe the seamier side of the men and women who make our laws.
However, O Donoghue's subject and its implications are broad and important, encompassing the development of the Irish Catholic bourgeoisie, emerging from the shadow of the eighteenth-century Penal Laws, and the seamier aspects of the Irish, British, and Imperial civil services and of the general processes of economic and infrastructural "development" in Ireland and in the Empire overseas.
My mother was always trying to make sure that I wasn't exposed to any of the seamier aspects of life.
From this innocent beginning the Gaiety soon experienced life's seamier side.
2, Peter Stampfli's 1972 painting of the contours of a fat, textured tire, approximate the dumbness Americans might attribute to what we think of as our own homegrown Pop, but there is a decisive turn here toward the seamier side, as evidenced by both images' emphatic Surrealist styling.
Feinstein brings back rookie reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson for another go at the seamier side of the sports world.
A devout Catholic and stern disciplinarian, he has no truck with the seamier side of racing, does not approve of drinking and loathes cigarettes with a passion.
JULIETTE, 33, was the darling of Hollywood's seamier side, starring in movies such as Natural Born Killers, Kalifornia and Cape Fear, before she launched her band Juliette And The Licks.
Also observed is the seamier side of Boise, such as racism, prostitution, and crime that marked its growth and progress.
Superman whodunit pulls the cape off seamier side of fame
The City of London Police inquiry will bring the sport's seamier side on to the main stage for public scrutiny.
However, I was led to hunt for the famous Winston Churchill quotation regarding democracy because lately (May 2005) we have been exposed to some of the seamier sides of democracy, and it seemed rather apropos.