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 For all his criticism of Pelosi, Trump and his advisers have long had grudging respect for her command of the Democratic caucus. Zeke Miller, The Denver Post, "Inside impeachment: How an “urgent” tip became “high crimes”," 22 Dec. 2019 Covington is getting little in the way of similar grudging props in the wake of his big defeat. Dave Doyle, MMA Junkie, "Colby Covington's comeuppance trumps everything, even his show of heart at UFC 245 | Opinion," 15 Dec. 2019 Zevin reveals it as a grudging response to democratic pressures from below. Pankaj Mishra, The New Yorker, "Liberalism According to The Economist," 4 Nov. 2019 But the fact of impeachment, and the fact of Senate Republicans giving Trump their grudging deference, will likely inflame political passions going into election while vastly increasing public cynicism. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Trump’s Impeachment Will Be Trump’s Fault," 23 Oct. 2019 An intriguing cast siphons through Moore's orbit, from Wesley Snipes (a little too over the top) and Keegan-Michael Key as the grudging actor/director and writer, respectively, that Rudy enlists, to Chris Rock and Snoop Dogg as deejays. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Eddie Murphy kicks off comeback with 'Dolemite is My Name'," 3 Oct. 2019 Grifters, for all our grudging admiration, rarely come to happy ends. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "The Distinctly American Ethos of the Grifter," 12 Sep. 2019 This is often the field where the industry subconsciously interrogates itself — its biases, its misogyny, its exciting new faces, its grudging respect for those who have stuck it out. David Canfield,, "Why the Oscars' Best Supporting Actress category tells a crucial Hollywood story," 31 Oct. 2019 On the right, there is a different kind of grudging admiration for the Beijing way. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Is Patriotism Possible?," 21 Aug. 2019

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

31 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Grudging.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!