grit

noun
\ 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

grit

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

spinelessness

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No Name’ defense is one filled with grit, determination, courage and compassion. Keven Lerner, sun-sentinel.com, "Former Miami Dolphins great Nick Buoniconti dies at 78," 31 July 2019 The grits are currently available in original, cheese, and bacon versions. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Jacksonville Beach Restaurant Debuts Its Own Line of Microwavable Grits," 26 July 2019 The once-polished floors became filthy with grit and tobacco. Washington Post, "Moscow’s Metropol: elegance to revolution and back again," 23 July 2019 The publication and gallery reflected the grit and creativity of the neighborhood in the 1990s, when the East Village, not yet gentrified, was still a bastion of the avant-garde. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "Steve Cannon, Whose Townhouse Was an East Village Salon, Dies at 84," 16 July 2019 Both Federer and Nadal are superstars beloved for the sporting ideals their respective games epitomize: the elegance and precision of Federer’s classic style of attacking tennis, the grit and ferocity of Nadal’s power-baseline game. Kevin Craft, The Atlantic, "Novak Djokovic Is the Greatest Player of the ‘Big Three’," 14 July 2019 More than 600 gleaming objects demonstrate the grit and drive of a company that carefully coupled evolving technology with individual craftsmanship. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "With this glittering display of silver, a Providence rags-to-riches tale," 3 July 2019 In the 1970s and ’80s, with Detroit still dominating the nation’s automobile market, his name evoked images of executive suites, infighting, power plays and the grit and savvy to sell American cars. Robert D. Mcfadden, SFChronicle.com, "Lee Iacocca, father of the Ford Mustang who later rescued Chrysler, dies at 94," 2 July 2019 Wilsey ruled this serpentine blend of the public and the private with the pizzazz of Cleopatra, the ferocity of Boudicca, and the grit of Catherine the Great. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Museum Happenings: Protesters Stage a Die-In in NYC, and Students Accuse Staff of Racism in Boston," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kids can rejoice, and the parents who love them can grit their teeth and go along for the ride. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Baby Shark Live! is coming to Milwaukee this fall. Tickets go on sale July 12.," 9 July 2019 One wonders how much of that time Charles must have spent gritting his teeth. Eugene Robinson, The Mercury News, "Robinson: Only an ignoramus would sound like Trump," 9 June 2019 Switzerland had played so well in the build up to the World Cup by gritting out these types of games. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Switzerland Holds Brazil to a 1-1 Draw," 17 June 2018 Immelt gritted his teeth at the name of Caroline Frawley, head of the Fed teams that patrolled the unit that spun out nearly half of GE’s profits. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 2018 What better way to express that feeling than through images of people gritting their teeth and forging toward their polling place? Aja Romano, Vox, "The memes of the 2018 midterm elections reflect a feeling of urgency and determination," 6 Nov. 2018 Gone are the days of gritting your teeth through gritty soy lattes to avoid the gastrointestinal effects of lactose and dairy fat; a new, smoother, tastier league of mylks has arrived to appease dairy haters of every ilk. Marian Bull, GQ, "The Best Non-Dairy Milks for Every Occasion," 12 June 2018 In response, many Russians will be gritting their teeth — and putting on their happy faces. Samuel Putnam, Washington Post, "Russians don’t smile much, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like you," 30 June 2018 Myers tried to impress with his new team, gritting through an ailing wrist. Tom Krasovic, sandiegouniontribune.com, "With big salaries coming, Wil Myers getting on track would be big for Padres," 20 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of grit

Noun

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

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grit

Statistics for grit

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for grit

grit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of grit

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

grit

noun
\ 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

grit

verb
gritted; gritting

Kids Definition of grit (Entry 2 of 2)

Legal Definition of GRIT

grantor retained income trust

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on grit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grit

Spanish Central: Translation of grit

Nglish: Translation of grit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grit for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about grit

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to shake or wave menacingly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!