\ ˈgrit How to pronounce grit (audio) \

Definition of grit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : sand, gravel
b : a hard sharp granule (as of sand) also : material (as many abrasives) composed of such granules
2 : any of several sandstones
3a : the structure of a stone that adapts it to grinding
b : the size of abrasive particles usually expressed as their mesh
4 : firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger managed to survive by his grit and guile
5 capitalized : a Liberal in Canadian politics


gritted; gritting

Definition of grit (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to give forth a grating sound dry snow gritting beneath our feet

transitive verb

1 : to cause (one's teeth) to grind or grate gritted his teeth and faced the challenge
2 : to cover or spread with grit especially : to smooth (a material, such as marble) with a coarse abrasive

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Synonyms & Antonyms for grit

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of grit in a Sentence

Noun He shook out his shoes to remove the small rocks and grit. Through resourcefulness and grit, the pioneers survived the winter. Verb the crash victim gritted his teeth as a way of coping with the pain
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Potentially in a season or two, the Wings’ top-four corps would feature Drysdale, Moritz Seider (Yzerman’s top pick in 2019), Filip Hronek and Danny DeKeyser, a group that would mix offensive skill with size and grit. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "NHL draft lottery countdown: What Red Wings could do with fourth pick," 22 June 2020 These women have exemplified tremendous courage and grit over the course of their lifetimes, fighting tirelessly to advance women's causes. USA Today, "USA TODAY’s Women of the Century judges panel," 8 July 2020 This is a film about cinema—grit of any kind is conspicuous by its absence. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, "Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Ingenious Families," 2 July 2020 With a little grit and a heaping hunk of cheese, Michelle Brenner has done the impasta-ble (sorry for that) by cooking up nearly 1,300 pans of lasagna for friends, first responders or whoever's hungry during the pandemic — and for free, no less! Scottie Andrew, CNN, "The Good Stuff: An octogenarian stays connected, a diabetic pilot returns to the skies and a baby emu wobbles," 27 June 2020 But Detroit has a special mix of resilience and grit. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Hey, President Trump: You know nothing about Detroit," 26 June 2020 With Kyrie Irving still out after having shoulder surgery in March, Johnson should see action with his grit mentality that should mesh well with the Nets. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Former Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Johnson ideal fit in Brooklyn," 25 June 2020 They were asked to score the importance of three specific constituents: self-esteem, resilience, and grit, on a scale of 1 to 10. Avik Chanda, Quartz India, "Kindness and empathy will be skills of the future in India’s media and publishing industry," 14 June 2020 Not to underplay the tortuous process soldiers endure to make it through the Army’s premier course on small-unit tactics, which tests leadership and grit. Jon Blau, Indianapolis Star, "How IU football helped Blake Powers, Austin Thomas for Army careers," 8 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb No wonder staffers grit their teeth when the President's fingers head for the phone. Stephen Collinson With Caitlin Hu, CNN, "Europe, bid au revoir to American tourists," 30 June 2020 Jack Coan has led the Badgers with consistency and grit the past two seasons. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football should not dismiss emerging threat from Big Ten’s Wild West: Buckeye Take," 10 June 2020 For Rosenqvist and Power, the only drivers within 45 seconds of the race-winner by the checkered flag, the day was relatively uneventful as Karam gritted to hold on. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Sage Karam drives away from field in IndyCar's first iRacing Challenge event from pole," 28 Mar. 2020 Instead most airlines are cutting capacity and gritting their teeth for what will likely be the worst period for the industry since the European debt crisis. David Meyer, Fortune, "The coronavirus is officially claiming its first corporate casualties," 5 Mar. 2020 Then Sandra hugged him and when Mark hugged Sandra, his teeth gritted. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Eleven Hundred Miles to Murder," 12 Aug. 2019 Anxious motorists grit their teeth, preparing for an even more circuitous drive downtown. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Car-free Market Street," 24 Jan. 2020 Texans safety Justin Reid has gritted through painful shoulder and wrist injuries all year. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Justin Reid named Texans' Ed Block Courage Award winner," 17 Dec. 2019 Other than gritting their teeth and throwing themselves in the way of Giannis Antetokounmpo in the hopes of getting rewarded with charge calls, the Brooklyn Nets didn't really have an answer for the Bucks' potent offensive attack. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 117, Nets 97: Suffocating defense leads to another romp," 18 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grit.' 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 grit


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


1762, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for grit

Noun and Verb

Middle English grete, from Old English grēot; akin to Old High German grioz sand

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Time Traveler for grit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for grit

Last Updated

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for grit


How to pronounce grit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grit

: very small pieces of sand or stone
informal : mental toughness and courage


\ ˈgrit How to pronounce grit (audio) \

Kids Definition of grit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : rough hard bits especially of sand
2 : strength of mind or spirit He had never learned to run properly, but … no one had more grit than he.— Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia


gritted; gritting

Kids Definition of grit (Entry 2 of 2)

Legal Definition of GRIT

grantor retained income trust

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More from Merriam-Webster on grit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grit

Spanish Central: Translation of grit

Nglish: Translation of grit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grit for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about grit

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