gritty

play
adjective grit·ty \ˈgri-tē\

Definition of gritty

grittier

;

grittiest

  1. 1 :  containing or resembling grit

  2. 2 :  courageously persistent :  plucky a gritty heroine

  3. 3 :  having strong qualities of tough uncompromising realism a gritty novel

grittily

play \ˈgri-tə-lē\ adverb

grittiness

play \ˈgri-tē-nəs\ noun

gritty was our Word of the Day on 03/10/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of gritty in a Sentence

  1. I admire her gritty determination to succeed.

  2. The book describes the gritty realities of life on the streets.

  3. He gave us all of the gritty details of his divorce.

Recent Examples of gritty from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gritty'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Gritty comes from grit ("small hard granules"), which in turn derives (via Middle English) from the Old English word for "sand" or "gravel." Grit has been around since before the 12th century, but the first appearance of gritty in print in English was near the end of the 16th century, when it was used in the sense of "resembling or containing small hard granules." Grit entered American slang in the early 19th century with the meaning "courage or persistence," and, within about 20 years, gritty followed suit with a corresponding "plucky" sense. By the 19th century's end, gritty was also being used to describe a literary style that was rough and coarse.

First Known Use of gritty

1598


GRITTY Defined for English Language Learners

gritty

play
adjective

Definition of gritty for English Language Learners

  • : containing very small pieces of sand or stone : containing grit

  • : having or showing a lot of courage and determination

  • : harsh and unpleasant


GRITTY Defined for Kids

gritty

play
adjective grit·ty \ˈgri-tē\

Definition of gritty for Students

grittier

;

grittiest

  1. 1 :  containing or like rough hard bits especially of sand

  2. 2 :  showing toughness and courage

  3. 3 :  harshly realistic a gritty story


Learn More about gritty


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to counsel, recommend, or inform

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!