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

gruesome

adjective grue·some \ˈgrü-səm\

Simple Definition of gruesome

  • : causing horror or disgust

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of gruesome

  1. :  inspiring horror or repulsion :  grisly

gruesomely

adverb

gruesomeness

noun

Examples of gruesome in a sentence

  1. The police report described the scene in gruesome detail.

  2. <didn't stick around to hear the gruesome details of the car accident>



Variants of gruesome

also

grewsome

\ˈgrü-səm\

Origin and Etymology of gruesome

alteration of earlier growsome, from English dialect grow, grue to shiver, from Middle English gruen, probably from Middle Dutch grūwen; akin to Old High German ingrūēn to shiver


First Known Use: circa 1700

Synonym Discussion of gruesome

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>.

GRUESOME Defined for Kids

gruesome

adjective grue·some \ˈgrü-səm\

Definition of gruesome for Students

  1. :  causing horror or disgust <Some of the potions had effects almost too gruesome to think about … — J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets>





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

looking or feeling very sad

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

divulge defame placate beat
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