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

As part of the experience, the company set them up with a mountain guide, who helped them enjoy the park’s major draws, including its extensive glaciers, and wildlife like Dall sheep, black and grizzly bears, bison, goats, wolves, and moose. Corina Quinn, Condé Nast Traveler, "'This Is Us’ Actor Justin Hartley Will Convince You to Go Camp in Remote Alaska," 1 Nov. 2018 Since its passage in 1973, it’s been credited with helping the rebound of the bald eagle, the grizzly bear, the humpback whale, and many other species living throughout the US and in its waterways. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The Endangered Species Act is incredibly popular. The administration is seeking to weaken it anyway.," 20 July 2018 How to Identify Tracks Black bear: Similar to grizzly bear prints, but smaller, and with shorter claws. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things My Father Taught Me," 17 June 2016 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of grizzly bear

1791, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grizzly bear

Share grizzly bear

Dictionary Entries near grizzly bear




grizzly bear

grizzly-bear cactus



Statistics for grizzly bear

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grizzly bear

The first known use of grizzly bear was in 1791

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on grizzly bear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grizzly bear

Spanish Central: Translation of grizzly bear

Nglish: Translation of grizzly bear for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about grizzly bear

Comments on grizzly bear

What made you want to look up grizzly bear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!