Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

gritty

play
adjective grit·ty \ˈgri-tē\

Simple Definition of gritty

  • : containing very small pieces of sand or stone : containing grit

  • : having or showing a lot of courage and determination

  • : harsh and unpleasant

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of gritty

grittier

grittiest

  1. 1 :  containing or resembling grit

  2. 2 :  courageously persistent :  plucky <a gritty heroine>

  3. 3 :  having strong qualities of tough uncompromising realism <a gritty novel>

grittily

play \ˈgri-tə-lē\ adverb

grittiness

play \ˈgri-tē-nəs\ noun

Examples of gritty in a sentence

  1. I admire her gritty determination to succeed.

  2. The book describes the gritty realities of life on the streets.

  3. He gave us all of the gritty details of his divorce.



Did You Know?

Gritty comes from grit ("small hard granules"), which in turn derives (via Middle English) from the Old English word for "sand" or "gravel." Grit has been around since before the 12th century, but the first appearance of gritty in print in English was near the end of the 16th century, when it was used in the sense of "resembling or containing small hard granules." Grit entered American slang in the early 19th century with the meaning "courage or persistence," and, within about 20 years, gritty followed suit with a corresponding "plucky" sense. By the 19th century's end, gritty was also being used to describe a literary style that was rough and coarse.

1598

First Known Use of gritty

1598


GRITTY Defined for Kids

gritty

play
adjective grit·ty \ˈgri-tē\

Definition of gritty for Students

grittier

grittiest

  1. 1 :  containing or like rough hard bits especially of sand

  2. 2 :  showing toughness and courage

  3. 3 :  harshly realistic <a gritty story>




Learn More about gritty


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up gritty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

at a gallop

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accomodate acommodate accommodate acommadate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ