\ 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 Following their World Series championship in 1991, the Twins were celebrated as baseball's model franchise, a team that won because of intelligence and grit and talented everyday players such as Puckett and Kent Hrbek. Star Tribune, "The morning Kirby Puckett woke up with blindness, 25 years ago, changed everything," 27 Mar. 2021 With grit and determination, Cunningham has forged a path for himself in wealth management and venture capital. Christopher Gray, Forbes, "Kai Cunningham, 26-Year-Old General Partner At Limited Ventures, Is Teaching Professional Athletes How To Play The Long Game In Venture Capital," 2 Mar. 2021 His teammates were impressed, but not surprised, by the grit and determination DeRozan showed in playing with such a heavy heart. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan praised for gutsy performance after father's death," 28 Feb. 2021 Sheryl Connelly is a product of old Detroit — its struggle, grit and relentless determination. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford employee gets asked for winning lottery numbers, palm readings," 21 Dec. 2020 Christian Clark and Jeff Nowak go through some first impressions of what to expect for this year's team from offense to defense, grit and New Zealand trivia tidbits. Jeff Nowak,, "Pelicans first impressions before unusual training camp and prop bet picks | Bird Watch podcast," 4 Dec. 2020 Toughness and grit are musts with Bickerstaff, and Dellavedova personifies those characteristics. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Matthew Dellavedova on re-signing with Cavaliers: Cleveland is always going to be a special place," 2 Dec. 2020 That is, an identity of toughness and grit on defense, and particularly on the perimeter. oregonlive, "Oregon State picked to finish last in Pac-12 men’s basketball, to which coach Wayne Tinkle says ‘I promise you. We won’t finish 12th’," 12 Nov. 2020 No matter what the score is, that’s what this team is always going to play with, that grit and that toughness. Hannah Underwood, Dallas News, "Texas A&M quotable: ‘There’s a lot of work to be done,’ Jimbo Fisher says," 3 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Resist the urge to grit your teeth and tough it out. Naz Beheshti, Forbes, "Is Pandemic Burnout Draining Your Motivation And Energy? Here's How We Can All Promote Recovery," 11 Mar. 2021 That’s the patience and grit the team must continue to channel to realize their goals of winning the program’s 12th national title. Alexa Philippou,, "The UConn women gave Geno Auriemma the best birthday gift of all: a Sweet 16 berth, so that Auriemma can finally rejoin the team," 24 Mar. 2021 The Lakers wrapped their first baseball-style road series with two wins in San Antonio, the second coming with the team getting over a number of mental hurdles to grit out a late win. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Stars do what stars do: Five takeaways from Lakers’ win over Spurs," 2 Jan. 2021 Plop your laptop on the kitchen table (or hunch over it on your couch), grit your teeth and get to work. Whitson Gordon, NBC News, "Best mouse 2020: 5 best mice for gaming, working and more," 10 Dec. 2020 Still, convincing investors to grit their teeth through today’s debt levels, even as Covid cases surge and online shopping booms in Unibail’s core markets, will be tough. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Westfield’s Owner Offers Two Unappealing Deals," 15 Oct. 2020 All Ginsburg could do was grit her teeth and hold the plank. Washington Post, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave us more than enough," 19 Sep. 2020 The entire midfield showed its ability to grit through a difficult game. Julia Poe,, "3 things we learned from Orlando City’s 3-1 win over Minnesota United," 8 Aug. 2020 The notion that working Americans should grit their teeth and stride serenely towards death to save the economy is just another unpopular position our electoral systems grant most Republicans the freedom to hold. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The 2020 Election Doesn’t Really Matter to Republicans," 30 July 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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for grit



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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Comments on grit

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