\ 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 After a decade of boom times for California’s travel and tourism industry, the short-term outlook is grim. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "California’s remote getaways anxious about summer visits," 23 May 2020 In Champagne — the region, not the drink — the mood has been grim as producers try to navigate the uncertainty. Chris O’brien, Los Angeles Times, "Hold the Champagne: Pandemic, recession fears hammer traditional European products," 8 May 2020 The numbers are similarly grim in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island: 1 in 4 workers in each of those states have applied for jobless aid. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Nearly 30% of Hawaii's workforce filed jobless claims. Here's a state-by-state breakdown of unemployment woes," 2 May 2020 One year after Braggs’ upbeat speech, circumstances for the girls are again grim: Coronavirus cases are rising and so are attacks by Boko Haram militants. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 22 Apr. 2020 On election night 2018, the faces of liberal-leaning commentators on MSNBC and elsewhere were grim as early returns failed to signal that a massive blue wave was on its way. John A. Farrell, The New Republic, "TNR Newsletters. Must reads. 5 days a week.," 16 Apr. 2020 Four years later, a different teleconnection is playing out, but the picture across Africa is equally grim. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "How a team of scientists studying drought helped build the world’s leading famine prediction model," 15 Apr. 2020 While the current news is grim, his message was not: Plain-spoken, honest, transparent, detailed, tone-appropriate, and empathetic—all the things that help people feel less out of control. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Marriott CEO’s authentic message to employees," 23 Mar. 2020 For now, the reality on the ground in Ukraine is grim enough. Maxim Edwards, The Atlantic, "Ukraine’s Quiet Depopulation Crisis," 21 Mar. 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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Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grim. Accessed 31 May. 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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