\ 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 The numbers are grim: The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the suicide rate for people ages 15 to 19 soared 76% between 2007 and 2017. Dave Murphy, SFChronicle.com, "How depression, anxiety and loneliness cut across the generations," 6 Feb. 2020 Those on the waitlist face a three-to-10 year wait for a deceased donor kidney, and the statistics are grim. Lisa Emmott, Time, "Kidney Swaps Are Revolutionizing a Broken Organ-Donation System in the U.S.," 5 Nov. 2019 By any honest assessment the consequences of this moral upheaval have been grim. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "U.S. Attorney General William Barr decries attacks on religious freedom in Notre Dame speech," 11 Oct. 2019 By that point, viewers who don’t know the book might be ready to give up on this grim, slow, emotionally inert procedural. Judy Berman, Time, "Cynthia Erivo Is the Saving Grace of HBO’s Muddled Stephen King Adaptation The Outsider," 7 Jan. 2020 Survival rates for pancreatic cancer are grim, and Mr. Lewis said his cancer was Stage 4, the most advanced. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "John Lewis, Congressman and Civil Rights Icon, Has Pancreatic Cancer," 29 Dec. 2019 The seasonal fire outlook for this upcoming summer is grim from Queensland south to Victoria, as bone-dry conditions combine with extreme heat to make for ideal fire conditions. BostonGlobe.com, "On Monday, Brisbane tied its record for the hottest December day, at 106.2 degrees.," 17 Dec. 2019 And the initial prognosis is grim (the report itself is frighteningly titled, 'A World At Risk'). Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Experts Warn We Aren’t Prepared for a Global Health Crisis: Brainstorm Health," 18 Sep. 2019 Dilly's 26-year-old sister, Ashlyn Dilly, said in a Facebook post that her family has received grim news. NBC News, "Search is over for Harley Dilly, missing 14-year-old Ohio boy, authorities say," 14 Jan. 2020

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

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grim?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=g&file=grim0001. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on grim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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