grit·ty | \ ˈgri-tē \
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 \ adverb
grittiness \ˈgri-tē-nəs \ 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

Like the past two titles, Shadow showcases a grittier, more realistic world than the 1990s version of Lara Croft. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Shadow of the Tomb Raider' Is Peak Lara Croft," 27 Apr. 2018 There are a lot of gritty crime dramas on the market, which is great for people who love to solve mysteries and take a look into the depths of the human psyche., "Jessica Biel Made The Sinner Season 2 Even More Disturbing," 14 June 2018 The nitty-gritty specifics of what’s in those glasses — H2O, vino, Skinnygirl tequila — likely wouldn't matter very much to an irritated Florida judge or the court of public opinion., "Did Ramona Singer Finally Have A Breakthrough On RHONY?," 28 June 2018 Organize your trip’s nitty gritty details A lot of travelers keep a precise schedule. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "12 incredibly useful travel apps you didn't know about until now," 1 June 2018 Organize your trip’s nitty gritty details A lot of travelers keep a precise schedule. Kim Komando, Fox News, "12 incredibly useful travel apps you didn't know about until now," 1 June 2018 More: Kokomo senior trio uder weight of great expectations But first, there was a gritty performance from Zionsville senior pitcher Nick Brier just to give the Eagles a chance. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "HS baseball: Zionsville edges Kokomo for third straight sectional title," 28 May 2018 Hanczer called it the nitty-gritty details of gallery work. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Gallery "Connects" Students To World Of Art," 8 May 2018 After months of anticipation, trustees reviewed the nitty-gritty details as well as the big picture situation for all its schools and facilities as part of a district-wide Facilities Master Plan Update. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Fort Bend ISD Facilities Master Plan includes re-zoning option to address Sienna Plantation's overcrowded Ridge Point High School," 3 Apr. 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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Statistics for gritty

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for gritty

The first known use of gritty was in 1598

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English Language Learners Definition of gritty

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

: having or showing a lot of courage and determination

: harsh and unpleasant


grit·ty | \ ˈgri-tē \
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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