griev·​ous | \ ˈgrē-vəs How to pronounce grievous (audio) \

Definition of grievous

1 : causing or characterized by severe pain, suffering, or sorrow a grievous wound a grievous loss
2 : oppressive, onerous grievous costs of war
3 : serious, grave grievous fault

Other Words from grievous

grievously adverb
grievousness noun

Examples of grievous in a Sentence

the grievous cost of war He took a foolish financial risk and suffered a grievous loss.
Recent Examples on the Web Lukashenko signed a decree that those caught participating in extremist activities or causing grievous harm to the interest of the republic could be deprived of citizenship. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 In Connecticut, a Farmington police officer suffered grievous injuries last year when a converter thief crushed him between the getaway car and the officer’s cruiser. Jesse Leavenworth,, 6 Apr. 2022 Further dampening the vibe was the absence of Tiger Woods, who had sustained grievous injuries in a car wreck two months prior. Xl Media, cleveland, 6 Apr. 2022 As the fighting, now in its third week, continues to exact a grievous human toll in Ukraine with Russian troops bombarding many of the country’s most populous cities, the number of those crossing into the EU has begun to slowly wane in recent days., 14 Mar. 2022 Local hospitals can also provide credible accounts of how many wounded have been admitted after particularly grievous attacks, or when there is widespread fighting in urban areas. New York Times, 11 Mar. 2022 Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet Union a grievous tragedy in the history of his country. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2022 Coming out a full two years after the cultural rubbernecking that made Netflix’s Tiger King a brief sensation, the show’s refusal or inability to streamline the themes and narrative of this story has gone from innocuous to grievous. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Mar. 2022 Because animals can’t speak for themselves, welfare laws tend to protect them only when there is clear proof of grievous physical harm. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grievous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of grievous

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grievous

see grieve

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The first known use of grievous was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grievous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for grievous


griev·​ous | \ ˈgrē-vəs How to pronounce grievous (audio) \

Kids Definition of grievous

1 : causing suffering or pain a grievous injury
2 : serious sense 2, grave a grievous error

More from Merriam-Webster on grievous

Nglish: Translation of grievous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grievous for Arabic Speakers


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