grizzly bear


Definition of grizzly bear 

: a very large brown bear (Ursus arctos) of northwestern North America

Note: The grizzly bear is the same species as the brown bear, but grizzly bear is typically used for the North American brown bear and not the European or Asian brown bear. In the U.S., grizzly bear is most often used for a brown bear of inland habitats (as in Montana and western Canada) that is typically smaller than coastal brown bears and usually has lighter-colored tips on the fur. The grizzly bear is often considered a subspecies (Ursus arctos horribilis) of the brown bear and, especially formerly, a separate species (Ursus horribilis).

The brown bears of Kodiak Island, the grizzly bears of the Rocky Mountains and interior Alaska, the European brown bear, all are now considered to be the same species, Ursus arctos, despite tremendous variation in color, size, and habits.Natural History

called also grizzly

Examples of grizzly bear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Wyoming school district where the U.S. education secretary famously suggested teachers might need to carry guns to protect children from grizzly bears is about to vote whether to do just that. Washington Post, "Wyoming district allows armed staff in area cited by DeVos," 18 Apr. 2018 Of those, only six would survive: three leopards, two macaques, and one small grizzly bear, all of which had been left in their cages. Longreads, "Wild At Heart," 17 May 2018 In 1856, San Franciscans who paid a quarter to venture into a large basement room found themselves a few feet away from half a dozen grizzly bears. Gary Kamiya,, "The original Grizzly Adams kept his bears on a chain in SF," 7 July 2018 The zoo's beloved grizzly bear, Charlie, died in 2009 before the exhibit opened. Christina Lords, idahostatesman, "Wild bear breaks into S. Idaho zoo, climbs tree to wait out Fish and Game officials," 3 July 2018 The sum of the professor's work was that a typical grizzly bear is 2.5 to 5 times stronger than a human. Josh Dean, Esquire, "America's 10 Toughest Animals," 2 June 2015 When four Alaskan grizzly bear cubs boarded a special FedEx plane last month bound for California, veterinarian Joel Parrott, armed with anesthetics, sat a few feet away from the very important cargo, and waited for something to go wrong. Kimberly Veklerov,, "Oakland Zoo doubles size, welcomes native wolves, bears and other California wildlife," 20 June 2018 One lucky Idaho hunter would draw a permit to shoot one grizzly bear in eastern Idaho under a hunting season approved Thursday by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. Rocky Barker, idahostatesman, "Idaho approves first grizzly bear hunting season in more than 40 years | Idaho Statesman," 10 May 2018 In three weeks, the puma cubs will have to share the spotlight with four orphan grizzly bear cubs moving into the enclosure next door. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland Zoo’s puma cubs get comfortable in their soon-to-open exhibit," 6 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grizzly bear.' 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 grizzly bear

1791, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near grizzly bear




grizzly bear

grizzly-bear cactus



Statistics for grizzly bear

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for grizzly bear

The first known use of grizzly bear was in 1791

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More Definitions for grizzly bear

grizzly bear


English Language Learners Definition of grizzly bear

: a very large and powerful bear of western North America

grizzly bear


Kids Definition of grizzly bear

: a large powerful brown bear of western North America

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