\ˈgrit \

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

backbone, constancy, fiber, fortitude, grittiness, guts, intestinal fortitude, pluck, spunk

Synonyms: Verb

crunch, gnash, grate, grind, scrape, scrunch

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of grit in a Sentence


He shook out his shoes to remove the small rocks and grit. Through resourcefulness and grit, the pioneers survived the winter.


the crash victim gritted his teeth as a way of coping with the pain
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bring to a boil over high heat and add grits, stirring continuously. Osayi Endolyn, WSJ, "Why Chefs Are Elevating Rice to Star Ingredient Status," 13 July 2018 There simply isn't enough depth to support Eriksen, and Croatia, who are flush with talent and grit all over the field, should have far too much quality for this to be anything other than a convincing win in their favour., "World Cup Preview: Croatia vs Denmark - Recent Form, Team News, Predictions & More," 30 June 2018 McKinney said Bellaire owes a lot to the endurance and grit of its roughly 200 original settlers. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire celebrating 100-year milestones," 28 June 2018 Step 1: Get some grit Rachel Epstein Slippery-smooth hair is great for middle-school pigtails, but festival braids require some grip to get that thick, voluminous finish. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Here's Exactly How to Create This Insanely Cool Coachella Braid," 21 Apr. 2018 So what is the grit ... Because again, make good stuff. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Financial Times CEO John Ridding on Recode Media," 10 Apr. 2018 More: Tiger Woods at 2018 Masters: Comeback Tiger aware of fortune, humbled by second chances Woods' grit was exemplary. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty on Masters 2018: Is this the last hurrah for Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson?," 6 Apr. 2018 Where is the grit in the good, the suspense in the cured? Beth Kephart,, "'The Recovering': Leslie Jamison writes a compelling memoir of addiction," 2 Apr. 2018 Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until grits are creamy and tender. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Super Bowl? Super bacon!," 30 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With teeth gritted, Axe comes this close to taking Frotty Anisman’s money, and selling off a piece of Axe Capital., "Billions Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: "Texas Roadkill Chili"," 28 May 2018 Both are upgrades on the floor, and neither will cause the Lakers front office to open Twitter with teeth gritted and one eye closed. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "LaVar Ball's latest bluster shows Los Angeles Lakers need to trade Lonzo Ball," 5 July 2018 Beavers gritted out a 57-54 victory Friday over No. Ken Goe,, "Goe: Oregon State women show more grit than flash, but it's enough to beat Arizona State," 12 Jan. 2018 In one of Maye’s pictures, a runner is gritting his teeth midstride while, a few feet behind him, the limo creeps along in ominous pursuit, a ghostly white hand visible in the car’s tinted windows. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "The Speed Project: A Crazy, 340-Mile Desert Relay," 21 June 2018 Finally, after diving headfirst into bravado and chest puffery all episode, Axe grits his teeth., "Billions Season 3, Episode 9 Recap: "Sitting Here In The Dark, Like An Assassin"," 21 May 2018 If Donald Trump had just gritted his teeth and lived with James Comey as F.B.I. director, everyone would have been spared a lot of grief. T.a. Frank, The Hive, "A Note to Woke Washington: The Bush Administration Was So Much Worse," 4 May 2018 Christian Bale grits his teeth and stares into the distance often as Blocker, who resists distasteful new orders that will conclude his military career. Chris Ball,, "'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert,' now on DVD and Blu-ray (review)," 2 May 2018 To see the sweat and tears and gritted teeth and anger. Danielle C. Belton, The Root, "Dominate," 29 Apr. 2018

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


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


see grit entry 1

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Phrases Related to grit

grit one's teeth

Statistics for grit

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grit

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

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More Definitions for grit



English Language Learners Definition of grit

: very small pieces of sand or stone

: mental toughness and courage


\ˈgrit \

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

What made you want to look up grit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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