grim

adjective
\ 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

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 But there is actually a logic to jumping on the New Year's resolution bandwagon despite the grim numbers. Katy Milkman, CNN, 1 Jan. 2022 But the most wonderful time of year is now looking grim. Ben Cohen, WSJ, 19 Dec. 2021 Things looked grim for the Chargers when they were stuffed on fourth down on the ensuing drive, and Pittsburgh edged ahead by three with a 45-yard field goal with 3:29 to play. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2021 The death adds to Indianapolis' grim homicide numbers. Rashika Jaipuriar, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Nov. 2021 The grim numbers show that even though background checks can work to an extent, gun violence will ensue if other measures aren’t put in place. Marlene Lenthang, ABC News, 29 Oct. 2021 Who worried about buying a new quirky sweater when life looked grim as COVID-19 cases soared? Susan Tompor, USA TODAY, 22 Oct. 2021 Who worried about buying a new quirky sweater when life looked grim as COVID-19 cases soared? Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 21 Oct. 2021 Serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman launched the carrier earlier this year at a time when the future of air travel looked grim. Christopher Elliott, Forbes, 4 Sep. 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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Dictionary Entries Near grim

grilse

grim

Grim's ditch

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grim. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for grim

grim

adjective

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

grim

adjective
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on grim

Nglish: Translation of grim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grim for Arabic Speakers

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