\ 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

backbone, constancy, fiber, fortitude, grittiness, guts, intestinal fortitude, pluck, spunk

Synonyms: Verb

crunch, gnash, grate, grind, scrape, scrunch

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of grit in a Sentence


He shook out his shoes to remove the small rocks and grit. Through resourcefulness and grit, the pioneers survived the winter.


the crash victim gritted his teeth as a way of coping with the pain
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Christopher estimates that the kitchen goes through 100 pounds of bacon, 100 pounds of breakfast sausage, 80 pounds of Conecuh sausage and about 300 pounds of grits every day. Michelle Matthews |, al, "Why customers are pumped about breakfast gumbo at this gas station," 4 Sep. 2019 The women were expected to take three psychological exams designed to determine their grit, hardiness and resilience. Fox News, "Military studying 'hyperfit' women who pass its toughest physical, mental courses," 22 July 2019 Is there a more homey dish than a creamy bowl of grits? Kari Sonde, Washington Post, "If you love your vegetables, these plant-based dinner recipes are for you," 15 July 2019 Sharpening stone sets in a range of grits from about 400 to 4,000 or higher will provide the best results and require the most practice to master. Paul Stephen,, "Our guide to knives will give you an edge in the kitchen," 10 July 2019 The self-sacrificing younger sister appears poised to show off her grit — and love for her sister — yet again. Nardine Saad,, "‘Frozen 2’ trailer: 7 things we learned about Elsa and Anna’s new adventure," 11 June 2019 Downtown responded to polish with grit, to new with vintage, and to politesse with sass. Vogue, "What Desperately Seeking Susan Got Right About Fashion," 20 Aug. 2019 Strengths: Ohio State transfer quarterback Joe Burrow won over teammates with grit, guile and some timely playmaking. Edgar Thompson,, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 6 LSU could challenge Alabama in SEC West," 19 Aug. 2019 Executing with grit, Colorado has come to its results in different ways. Jake Shapiro, The Denver Post, "Five takeaways from Rapids’ surprising missed opportunity in Portland," 14 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 If Donald Trump had just gritted his teeth and lived with James Comey as F.B.I. director, everyone would have been spared a lot of grief. T.a. Frank, The Hive, "A Note to Woke Washington: The Bush Administration Was So Much Worse," 4 May 2018 Christian Bale grits his teeth and stares into the distance often as Blocker, who resists distasteful new orders that will conclude his military career. Chris Ball,, "'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert,' now on DVD and Blu-ray (review)," 2 May 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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Statistics for grit

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grit

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

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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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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 Encyclopedia article about grit

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