\ 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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Otis is a living space with grit, nestled in a community with character to match. Hunter Boyce, ajc, 25 July 2022 The food grade baking soda is mined from the earth, naturally neutralizes odor and has a very fine grit that will not irritate your skin. The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 May 2022 Organizations like Full Circle, an all-Black group of mountaineers who summited Everest in May 2022, are showing the world that extreme activities like mountain climbing are available to anyone with the grit to try. Lilit Marcus, CNN, 29 May 2022 Similarly, when Muti and orchestra summitted the major-key arrival of the fourth and final movement, the glittering modulation was specked with grit, as though acknowledging that this was a victory far too hard-won. Hannah Edgar,, 1 Apr. 2022 Power comes from the ability to thrive in any environment, any working condition, using grit, emotional intelligence and discipline. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 7 July 2022 Singer-songwriter Nate Smith’s journey is a survivor’s story — one of grit, flexibility and determination. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 15 June 2022 Andrew is by Miamians for not just Miamians, but those that want a glimpse of what actual local living is like–the grit, non-glamour, and melting-pot culture of a singular tropical metropole as captured through skate- and streetwear. Nick Remsen, Vogue, 10 June 2022 This horse has grit, determination and an unstoppable spirit. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 6 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Most everybody hates doing this in the moment, but founders who grit their teeth and get through the delegation process give themselves more time. Carl Gould, Forbes, 30 June 2022 For the untold millions who don’t have access to adequate public transportation or otherwise can’t forgo their car, the solution is to grit their teeth and pay while cutting costs elsewhere. Daniel Niemann,, 20 June 2022 On my high school track team, the distance guys were built like deer—lean and long—and able to grit out the pain of running the mile at a blistering pace. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, 8 May 2020 And yet, when life throws us a curveball, our default is to straighten our backs, grit our teeth and press on. Jeannine Amber, Essence, 3 Apr. 2022 The fortunes of basketball, the accumulating losses and the COVID-19 pandemic that won’t go away forced Thibodeau to grit his teeth and call on Walker again. Dom Amore,, 22 Dec. 2021 That sets off a feeding frenzy where one buyer — sometimes a reseller with a bot — snags the item, while hundreds more grit their teeth in frustration. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 14 Dec. 2021 Being able to run around and go to the park with her sons without having to grit her teeth through the pain has been life-changing. Natasha Lavender, SELF, 19 Nov. 2021 There is a harrowing story in the New Yorker that everyone should grit their teeth and read. Ross Douthat New York Times, Star Tribune, 26 July 2021 See More

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.

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 greet, grete, going back to Old English grēot, going back to Germanic *greuta- "broken bits of stone, sand, gravel," (whence also Old Saxon griot "sand, gravel," Middle Dutch griet "coarse sand, grit," Old High German grioz, Old Icelandic grjót "gravel, pebbles"), noun derivative of *greutan- "to grind, crush" (whence Old High German gegrozan "coarse-grained," past participle of a presumed strong verb griozan "to crush"), going back to dialectal Indo-European *ghreu̯dH-e/o-, whence, from zero grade, Lithuanian grū́džiu/grū́du, grū́sti "to crush, pulverize"; and from a nominal derivative with o-grade Russian grúda "heap, pile," Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian grȕda "lump, clod"

Note: The form grit (rarely grite) is first attested from the late sixteenth century, alongside the forms greet, greete and griet, which by the nineteenth century are considered dialectal. While the latter clearly continue the Middle and Old English etymon, the source of grit is uncertain, as Middle English ẹ̄ should not result in short i. It has been suggested, as by the Oxford English Dictionary, first edition, that short i has been taken from the vowel of grit in grits. — The Germanic verb is unattested outside of Old High German. The Indo-European base *ghreu̯dH-e/o- has no solidly comparable progeny outside of Germanic and Balto-Slavic. Compare also grits, groats, grout entry 1.


derivative of grit entry 1, with some senses probably in part phonesthemic and in part influenced by grate entry 3

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

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grit cell

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Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for grit


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on grit

Nglish: Translation of grit for Spanish Speakers

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


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