grudg·​ing | \ ˈgrə-jiŋ How to pronounce grudging (audio) \

Definition of grudging

1 : unwilling, reluctant a grudging supporter of the reform movement a grudging admirer
2 : done, given, or allowed unwillingly, reluctantly, or sparingly grudging compliance

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from grudging

grudgingly adverb

Did You Know?

More than five hundred years have passed since English jurist Sir John Fortescue observed, "Somme . . . obtayne gretter rewardis than thei have disserved, and yit grugge, seying they have [too] litill." Fortescue's "grugge" (an early spelling of the verb grudge) meant "to grumble and complain," just like its Middle English forerunner, "grucchen," and the Anglo-French word grucer, which gave rise to the English forms. English speakers had adopted the "complaining" sense of "grudge" by the late 1400s, and by 1500 they had added the extended sense "reluctant." That second sense may have developed because people associated "grudge" with the related word begrudge (meaning "to give reluctantly"). "Grudging," which developed from "grudge," made its English debut around 1533.

Examples of grudging in a Sentence

Her theories have begun to win grudging acceptance in the scientific community. He has earned the grudging admiration of his rivals.
Recent Examples on the Web Domestically, a grudging tolerance for opposition and protest has been all but abandoned, while internationally, the Kremlin is taking particularly sharp aim at the United States ahead of the change of administration next month. Washington Post, "In Russia, tough new laws and stepped-up defiance abroad mark Putin’s shift toward unfettered control," 27 Dec. 2020 Most officials held a grudging respect for Mrs. Rodríguez, despite complaining about her foul language and pugnacious manner. New York Times, "She Stalked Her Daughter’s Killers Across Mexico, One by One," 6 Dec. 2020 In the negotiations to end the recent war, Mr. Putin leaned on the threat of Russia’s military power, forcing concessions from both sides in the conflict but gaining a grudging measure of trust in the rival camps. New York Times, "In Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Deal, Putin Applied a Deft New Touch," 1 Dec. 2020 Today there is a growing if grudging acceptance that his critics have done enormous damage to poor children by rejecting his calls to keep schools open. James Freeman, WSJ, "He Was Right About Schools, Too," 19 Nov. 2020 But a senior administration official signaled grudging acceptance of the possibility Trump might be presented with another mega spending package. al, "Shelby: ‘Not a lot of room for error’ on $1.4 trillion spending bill," 18 Nov. 2020 Now, there’s an acceptance – grudging or otherwise – that the game will never be the same, for better or worse. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "As MLB's minor league revamp wraps up, embattled franchises await fate: 'We are waiting and hoping'," 13 Nov. 2020 Still, there was a grudging acknowledgment by Democratic leaders that their candidates had underperformed. Jesse Mckinley, New York Times, "How ‘Defund the Police’ Roiled Competitive Races in New York," 6 Nov. 2020 Edmonds documents the struggles of Rose Rand, a Jewish woman who earned her doctorate from the University of Vienna in 1938 but couldn’t find a secure academic job in England, forcing her to rely on the grudging charity of émigré organizations. Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker, "Philosophy in the Shadow of Nazism," 12 Oct. 2020

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

circa 1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grudging

see grudge entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grudging

Time Traveler for grudging

Time Traveler

The first known use of grudging was circa 1531

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about grudging

Statistics for grudging

Last Updated

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grudging.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for grudging


How to pronounce grudging (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grudging

: said, done, or given in an unwilling or doubtful way

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on grudging

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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