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

Another beloved old-school character is getting a gritty update: Nancy Drew. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The 24 Most Anticipated TV Shows of Fall 2019," 9 Aug. 2019 Check out the haunting, gritty urban world López created in the trailer above. Daniel Menegaz, EW.com, "Stephen King and Guillermo del Toro think you should watch this horror fairy tale," 30 July 2019 In her new movie Coyote Lake, Mendes has shed Veronica's signature pearl necklace for a role that's far grittier than The CW has to offer — murderous Gargoyle King and fizzle rocks drama aside. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Camila Mendes Has An Emotional Altercation In This Exclusive Clip From Coyote Lake," 25 July 2019 Nestled in an accidental amphitheater of concrete and glass formed, on three sides, by tall apartments and an office building, the weeklymovie series — in its 12th season — has a vibe that’s both slightly gritty and surprisingly welcoming. Washington Post, "12 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 15 July 2019 Removing Scrub Charcoal and 2% salicylic acid pack a one-two punch against pimples, plus the gritty texture provides physical exfoliation to unclog pores. Christina Heiser, NBC News, "What are the best skin care products for acne-prone skin? Look for these key ingredients," 25 July 2019 About half of Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage consists of Blue in Chicago, a series of gritty, funny, harrowing descriptions of urban existence. Abigail Deutsch, Harper's magazine, "Bette on the Blues," 22 July 2019 Here’s the scoop on the best of the batch— and the sad, gritty ones to avoid. Jolene Thym, The Mercury News, "Taste-Off: The best high-end mint-chocolate chip ice creams — and five utter fails," 22 July 2019 Jason Aaron has written for titles including 'Wolverine,' 'Doctor Strange,' 'Black Panther' and 'Star Wars,' and gritty indie series too. al.com, "Alabama comic book writer’s female Thor hammers way to big screen," 21 July 2019

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

13 Aug 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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