gritty

adjective
grit·​ty | \ ˈgri-tē How to pronounce gritty (audio) \
grittier; grittiest

Definition of gritty

1 : containing or resembling grit
2 : courageously persistent : plucky a gritty heroine
3 : having strong qualities of tough uncompromising realism a gritty novel

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Other Words from gritty

grittily \ ˈgri-​tə-​lē How to pronounce grittily (audio) \ adverb
grittiness \ ˈgri-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce grittiness (audio) \ noun

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.

Examples of gritty in a Sentence

I admire her gritty determination to succeed. The book describes the gritty realities of life on the streets. He gave us all of the gritty details of his divorce.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The former is a historic harbor district dotted with small galleries, cute coffeehouses, gritty street art, and hip boutiques. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Three Days In Istanbul," 28 Dec. 2018 This under-construction development Balaji is selling promises high-end living in Kensington, one of a cluster of flourishing, formerly industrial districts that have repackaged their gritty pasts for a new generation of buyers. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Booming postindustrial neighborhoods often overlook polluted past," 9 Oct. 2018 Still, his gritty defense and athleticism are strong points that lend themselves to an NBA role, and the Blazers could use a tough, hard-nosed player to add to their backcourt. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2018 NBA Mock Draft 6.0: Projecting All 60 Picks After March Madness," 3 Apr. 2018 The gritty, electric track shows a rougher, louder side to the guitar-wielding 20-year-old musician, and the accompanying visuals are just as vibrant as her sound. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jade Bird Is a 5'3" Bundle of Attitude in Her New "Uh Huh" Music Video," 23 Aug. 2018 The fried chicken sandwich, on a pretzel bun, had an unusual breading of super-coarse and somewhat gritty cornmeal, but the juicy chicken thigh within was a winner. Kate Washington, sacbee, "It’s good to be back: Celestin’s revives its particular brand of gumbo and grace," 22 June 2018 The gritty but bright murals at Wynwood Walls in Miami are often featured as selfies on Instagram. Johnny Diaz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "The best places to take selfies in South Florida," 21 June 2018 Photo: Philadelphia Flyers Grit is also a hybrid of dirt, crumbs and grease, and Philadelphia is gritty in both senses of the word. Jillian Kay Melchior, WSJ, "Antifa Appropriates a Creepy Mascot," 7 Oct. 2018 Our selections included raunchy Black erotica from authors like Zane, but the most enticing books were the ones that told gritty stories about navigating the streets. refinery29.com, "SuperFly Is A Nostalgic Reintroduction To Urban Fiction," 14 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of gritty

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near gritty

gritrock

grits

grittle

gritty

grivation

grivet

grivois

Statistics for gritty

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gritty

The first known use of gritty was in 1598

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More Definitions for gritty

gritty

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of gritty

: containing very small pieces of sand or stone : containing grit
informal : having or showing a lot of courage and determination
: harsh and unpleasant

gritty

adjective
grit·​ty | \ ˈgri-tē How to pronounce gritty (audio) \
grittier; grittiest

Kids Definition of gritty

1 : containing or like rough hard bits especially of sand
2 : showing toughness and courage
3 : harshly realistic a gritty story

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More from Merriam-Webster on gritty

Spanish Central: Translation of gritty

Nglish: Translation of gritty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gritty for Arabic Speakers

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