\ ˈgrim How to pronounce grim (audio) \
grimmer; grimmest

Definition of grim

1 : fierce in disposition or action : savage grim wolves
2a : stern or forbidding in action or appearance a grim taskmaster
b : somber, gloomy grim news of the disaster
3 : ghastly, repellent, or sinister in character a grim tale
4 : unflinching, unyielding grim determination

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Other Words from grim

grimly adverb
grimness noun

Examples of grim in a Sentence

Hikers made a grim discovery when they came across a dead body in the woods. The accident serves as a grim reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving. The prognosis is grim—doctors do not expect her to live longer than six months. He paints a grim picture of the prospects for peace. His face looked grim, and we knew his news wouldn't be good.
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Recent Examples on the Web That's as hospitalizations hit another grim record Monday, with more than 128,200 Covid-19 patients, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "Hospitals are already overwhelmed. Now some states are beginning to feel the impact of holiday gatherings," 5 Jan. 2021 Just days into 2021, the state of Texas is already facing a grim new record. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Texas sees coronavirus hospitalizations record just days into new year," 5 Jan. 2021 Two months later in Nashville, Tennessee, Rainey addressed the National Conference of Colored Men with grim realism. Christopher Frear, Smithsonian Magazine, "Meet Joseph Rainey, the First Black Congressman," 5 Jan. 2021 The rate of deforestation maintained its grim ascent, rising nearly 10 percent to heights unseen in a decade. Washington Post, "Bolsonaro sent soldiers to the Amazon to curb deforestation. Here’s how the effort failed.," 4 Jan. 2021 Fed and Treasury officials said Main Street was designed to address a grim scenario that never materialized: one where companies unable to borrow in capital markets drew down their credit lines and overwhelmed the banking sector’s capacity to lend. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed Had a Loan Plan for Midsize Firms Hurt by Covid. It Found Few Takers.," 4 Jan. 2021 Anchorage itself has bucked a grim trend that unfolded during 2020 in both large cities and small towns, where homicide and assault rates have spiked during 2020. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "In a year where homicide rates increased nationwide, Anchorage saw significant decreases," 3 Jan. 2021 Against the grim backdrop, defiant crowds danced in Philadelphia to protest the cancellation of the New Year's Day Parade, and religious worshippers protested California's limits on indoor gatherings. CBS News, "Hospitals on high alert for new, more contagious COVID-19 strain," 3 Jan. 2021 The grim increase, which many experts and local officials believe was influenced by the coronavirus pandemic, follows a trend seen in dozens of other American cities in 2020 and comes after four years of declining homicides locally. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee's historic year of violence concludes with 189 people killed in homicides," 1 Jan. 2021

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

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First Known Use of grim

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grim

Middle English, "fierce, savage, terrifying, repellent, violent, severe," going back to Old English grimm "fierce, savage, harsh, severe," going back to Germanic *grimma-, from earlier *gremma- (whence also Old Frisian grim, grem "fierce, severe, frightening," Old Saxon grimm "fierce, hostile, severe," Old High German grim, grimmi, Old Norse grimmr), adjective derivative from the base of *grimman- "to rage" (whence Old English & Old Saxon grimman "to rage," Old High German grimmen), probably going back to *ghrem-ne-, nasal present from an Indo-European verbal base *ghrem- "roar, rage," whence Avestan graməṇt- "raging," Greek chremetízein "to neigh, whinny," chrémisan "(they) neighed"; with zero-grade ablaut Old Church Slavic vŭzgrĭmě "thundered, roared," Lithuanian grumiù, grumė́ti "to roar, thunder"; with o-grade ablaut Germanic *gram- (whence Old English, Old Saxon & Old High German gram "angry, hostile, fierce," Old Norse gramr "anger," Old English gremman, gremian "to anger, enrage," Old High German gremmen, Old Norse gremja, Gothic gramjan), Old Church Slavic gromŭ "thunder," Greek chrómos, chrómē (Hesychius) "kind of noise, snorting, neighing," chrómados "grinding of jaws" (cf. chromis)

Note: The base *ghrem- is most likely of onomatopoeic origin, with different semantic developments in the Indo-European branch languages.

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Time Traveler for grim

Time Traveler

The first known use of grim was before the 12th century

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Statistics for grim

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grim. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for grim

How to pronounce grim (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grim

: unpleasant or shocking to see or think about
: causing feelings of sadness or worry : gloomy or depressing
: having a very serious appearance or manner
\ ˈgrim How to pronounce grim (audio) \
grimmer; grimmest

Kids Definition of grim

2 : harsh in action or appearance : stern a grim look
3 : gloomy sense 3, dismal grim news
4 : showing firmness and seriousness grim determination
5 : frightful sense 1 a grim tale

Other Words from grim

grimly adverb

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Comments on grim

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