\ˈgrim \
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

Which is to say, the grim, yet perversely fascinating possibility that our technological creations might just annihilate us. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: Transforming citizens into scientists with satellites," 2 Nov. 2018 The area has turned from the grim, dark, and lifeless maze of streets into a pulsing destination for the EasyJet and stag-party crowds. András Szántó, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Budapest Is Europe's Unlikely Capital of Hedonism," 29 Aug. 2018 The account painted a grim picture for the network, which has excelled, thanks to its incredibly discerning taste and prestige-level programming. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "AT&T plans to expand HBO, but could destroy it in the process," 11 July 2018 Safety regulators still have no idea just how deadly the combination of mobile phones and cars can be, but mounting evidence paints a grim picture. Kyle Stock, Houston Chronicle, "Phone addicts text away behind the wheel, ignoring laws," 19 Mar. 2018 But while some people insist on painting a grim picture of our state's future, this is the reality: Louisiana ranks No. 5 among the Top States for Doing Business, according to Area Development magazine. Julia O'donoghue,, "Watch, read Gov. John Bel Edwards' 2018 special session address," 19 Feb. 2018 Still, as a window into Trump's view of the role of science, the documents present a grim picture. John Timmer And Scott Johnson, Ars Technica, "Trump’s budget wants the US to stop watching the planet," 13 Feb. 2018 As noted above, there are some interesting regional and national variations in this grim picture of America losing prestige elsewhere. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Global Poll Shows U.S. Prestige Plummeting Under Trump," 18 Jan. 2018 Prisons spokesman Jeff Taillon announced the grim outcome after State Law Enforcement Division agents helped secure Lee Correctional Institution around 3 a.m. Monday. Fox News, "The Latest: Coroner says inmates slashed, stabbed, beaten," 16 Apr. 2018

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, from Old English grimm; akin to Old High German grimm fierce, Greek chremetizein to neigh

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Statistics for grim

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for grim

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

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More Definitions for grim



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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on grim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grim

Spanish Central: Translation of grim

Nglish: Translation of grim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grim for Arabic Speakers

Comments on grim

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