adjective gris·ly \ˈgriz-lē\

: causing horror or fear : very shocking


Full Definition of GRISLY

:  inspiring horror or intense fear <houses that were dark and grisly under the blank, cold sky — D. H. Lawrence>
:  inspiring disgust or distaste <a grisly account of the fire>
gris·li·ness noun

Examples of GRISLY

  1. The jurors saw grisly photos of the crime scene.
  2. <recounted the visit to the murder scene in grisly detail>

Origin of GRISLY

Middle English, from Old English grislic, from gris- (akin to Old English āgrīsan to fear); akin to Old High German grīsenlīh terrible
First Known Use: 12th century

Synonym Discussion of GRISLY

ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, lurid mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts <a ghastly accident>. grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty <an unusually grisly murder> <suffered a gruesome death>. macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death <a macabre tale of premature burial>. lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder <the lurid details of a crime>.

Rhymes with GRISLY

GRISLIER Defined for Kids


adjective gris·ly \ˈgriz-lē\

Definition of GRISLY for Kids

:  horrible 1, gruesome <a grisly murder>


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