\ 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 Paul has further branded Phoenix's culture of toughness and grit with his leadership. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Countdown to playoffs: 5 biggest things Chris Paul has brought to Phoenix Suns," 3 May 2021 No degree of grit or toughness or repression can prepare a physician for the deluge of death this pandemic has wrought. Robert Pearl, Forbes, "Doctors Can’t Cope With Anguish Of Covid-19 Casualties," 19 Apr. 2021 Locke had never heard of Oral Roberts, a private evangelical university in Tulsa, Okla., until the high-flying Golden Eagles put on a shooting clinic and showcased plenty of grit to pull off the biggest Day 1 upset of the Big Dance. Edgar Thompson,, "Gators aim to end run of NCAA Tournament Cinderella Oral Roberts," 20 Mar. 2021 In this model, masks are a sign of weakness, an absence of grit — burn them in a trash can! Washington Post, "The ‘Commander in Grief’ steps up to the microphone," 12 Mar. 2021 The Perseverance rover and its little sibling, the Ingenuity helicopter, landed in a cloud of grit on Feb. 18, bristling with antennas and cameras. New York Times, "Once Upon a Time on Mars," 2 Mar. 2021 Their grit, their poise, and their historic run inspired the Bruin faithful and gave sports fans across our city another reason to cheer. Los Angeles Times, "UCLA players, stars react to buzzer-beater loss to Gonzaga," 3 Apr. 2021 Sparrows Point — the former home of Bethlehem Steel — is known for its grit and determination as a steel town on the shores of the Patapsco River. Kyle J. Andrews,, "Sparrows Point football’s stout defense comes up big in 10-6 victory over Towson," 26 Mar. 2021 Just seeing that young boy work and his grit, his aggressiveness and tenacity is very impressive. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "How Collin Sexton’s film session with J.B. Bickerstaff following season low in Denver helped spark scoring surge," 2 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In other words, grit your teeth at those aimless swing-and-misses because the organization does not sound willing to pull the plug. Star Tribune, "Twins organization gritting teeth and sticking by Miguel Sano, but for how long?," 14 Apr. 2021 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

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 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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