1 of 2


grudged; grudging

transitive verb

: to be unwilling to give or admit : give or allow reluctantly or resentfully
didn't grudge the time
grudger noun


2 of 2


: a feeling of deep-seated resentment or ill will
held no grudge against those who mistreated him
Choose the Right Synonym for grudge

malice, malevolence, ill will, spite, malignity, spleen, grudge mean the desire to see another experience pain, injury, or distress.

malice implies a deep-seated often unexplainable desire to see another suffer.

felt no malice toward their former enemies

malevolence suggests a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct.

a look of dark malevolence

ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration.

ill will provoked by a careless remark

spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments.

petty insults inspired by spite

malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness.

a life consumed by motiveless malignity

spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice.

venting his spleen against politicians

grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction.

never one to harbor a grudge

Examples of grudge in a Sentence

Verb I don't grudge paying my share. I don't grudge her the opportunities she has been given. Noun She still has a grudge against him for the way he treated her in school. He has nursed a grudge against his former boss for years. I don't bear him any grudges.
Recent Examples on the Web
There is a clear sense of direction, almost a narrative sensibility, in the five tracks’ grudging progression from darkness to something approaching light. Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork, 28 Aug. 2023 Surrounded by eager new lawmakers, his eyes are dim, his smile grudging. Molly Ball, Time, 20 July 2023 At the moment, Israel’s right-wing coalition government’s plan to disempower the Supreme Court there is on hold, a mark of grudging deference to what have been the largest peaceful protests in the country’s history. Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker, 13 June 2023 Their party was more likely to eschew deadly and costly violence in favor of grudging compromise and coexistence. Caitlin Fitz, The Atlantic, 8 Apr. 2020 Corbyn, meanwhile, began to win grudging praise from the guardians of established opinion for his willingness to coordinate the resistance. David Graeber, The New York Review of Books, 13 Jan. 2020 Summing up, Nixon called for the Chinese to be bold and not grudging. William McGurn, WSJ, 26 Nov. 2018 Instant coffee, often relegated to brownie recipes and steak rubs, is making a comeback and even winning grudging approval from connoisseurs. Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2019 And finally, a grudging first welcome to … the new pass interference rule in the regular season. Jonathan Jones,, 5 Sep. 2019
There are grudges, and wounds, and a terrible racist secret in the attic, as there is in much of American life. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 Yet the anonymous caller, whom L.B. believes to be a former acquaintance with a grudge, has continued to dial in to New York’s state child welfare hotline. Eli Hager, ProPublica, 16 Nov. 2023 Jasmine and Gino Jasmine and Gino are both holding grudges. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 30 Oct. 2023 His hypothesis is that the woman was accused by a neighbor with a grudge. Nelson Rauda Zablah, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Oct. 2023 Who among us has not gazed in dismay at a world that’s not just increasingly bad-tempered, but seems to hold against each one of us some focused, individual grudge? Jessica Kiang, Variety, 9 Oct. 2023 Back then, performers were always collectors: of sounds, melodies, grudges, psychic states. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023 All the while, the chaos has produced mistrust and fresh grudges. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 25 Oct. 2023 In April, the platform removed the verification badges from the accounts of some news sites that refused to pay $1,000 a month for it, continuing Musk’s years-long grudge against journalists who have reported critically on him. Leo Sands, Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'grudge.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English grucchen, grudgen to grumble, complain, from Anglo-French grucer, grucher, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle High German grogezen to howl


derivative of grudge entry 1

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of grudge was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near grudge

Cite this Entry

“Grudge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
grudged; grudging
grudger noun


2 of 2 noun
: a strong lasting feeling of resentment toward someone for a real or imagined wrong

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