- a gritty heroine
- a gritty novel
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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.
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.
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.
: containing very small pieces of sand or stone : containing grit
: having or showing a lot of courage and determination
: harsh and unpleasant
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