\ 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 To me, grit is courage and resolve, even in the darkest moments. Mike Lee, Quartz at Work, "How boxing helps me cope with life’s knockouts," 20 Nov. 2019 City guys are the grit, can handle the basketball and can hoop. Connor Letourneau,, "‘Two Westchester kids’: Eric Paschall, Donovan Mitchell face each other in NBA," 11 Nov. 2019 But the most impressive aspect of the win was the Beavers’ grit. oregonlive, "Oregon State backs up the preseason buzz with a signature 80-74 win over Iowa State," 10 Nov. 2019 This location of the Flying Biscuit has a lot of the diner’s classic dishes, from the creamy dreamy grits to the moon dusted potatoes. al, "Go inside Alabama’s first location of The Flying Biscuit," 28 Oct. 2019 From the rooftops of Baghdad, Mardik Martin would watch as the grit and stale air of the sprawling city melted away in the magical Technicolor of the Hollywood films that were projected onto a screen in the public square below. Los Angeles Times, "Mardik Martin, screenwriter on ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘Mean Streets,’ dies at 84," 18 Sep. 2019 Capture the grit and energy of Berlin’s cosmopolitan neighborhoods, practice your street photography with locals and tourists alike, and catch a panoramic view of the city from the green slopes of Viktoriapark. National Geographic, "Berlin Photography Workshop," 10 Sep. 2019 Sauerbrunn epitomized the grit and determination those journeys produced. Kevin Baxter,, "U.S. fulfills its promise with emotional triumph in Women’s World Cup," 7 July 2019 Penn State has won with offense (59-0 over Maryland), defense (17-12 against Iowa) and grit (17-10 versus Pittsburgh). Teddy Greenstein,, "5 things we learned about Big Ten football after Week 10, including trick plays are fun and Illinois-Northwestern will matter. Plus, our updated power rankings.," 4 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This is important: Damp eggs will make toast soggy and grits watery. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "How to Poach An Egg With Confidence And Grace," 21 Oct. 2019 But while Son looks far ahead, the question is, will his backers grit their teeth through potential volatility and believe in the CEO’s goals? Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "WeWork Is Just the Latest Miss In SoftBank’s Rocky Year," 21 Sep. 2019 A week after Lamar Jackson led an unstoppable offense with his arm, the Ravens leaned on his legs to grit out a 23-17 win Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Instant analysis: Behind Lamar Jackson’s 120 rushing yards, 2 TD passes, Ravens hold off Cardinals, 23-17," 15 Sep. 2019 Backstage the 10 campaigns were crammed in individual cinder-block bunkers, outfitted with TVs so staffs could grit their teeth while watching their bosses flail. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "The Democratic debate is being held at ‘ground zero’ for the threat of rising seas. Can the climate candidate get a word in edgewise?," 27 June 2019 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 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 Myers tried to impress with his new team, gritting through an ailing wrist. Tom Krasovic,, "With big salaries coming, Wil Myers getting on track would be big for Padres," 20 June 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

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

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Grit.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for grit


How to pronounce grit (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on grit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grit

Spanish Central: Translation of grit

Nglish: Translation of grit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grit for Arabic Speakers 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).


very cautious or careful

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