\ ˈgrü \

Definition of grue

 (Entry 1 of 4)

now chiefly dialectal
: to shiver or shudder especially with fear or cold exposed to the gruesome so extensively … we simply don't grue any more— John Crosby


noun (1)
\ " \
plural -s

Definition of grue (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a fit of shivering : shiver the sound of wind in the rigging … gave him the chills and the grues— R. B. Robertson impossible to read without a certain cold grue— S. V. Benét
2 : gruesome quality or effect a mystery novel … resolved with true grue— Anthony Boucher serves the chilliest grue with perfect elegance— J. S. Sandoe


noun (2)
\ " \
plural -s

Definition of grue (Entry 3 of 4)

now chiefly Scottish
: particle, bit hasn't a grue of sense


noun (3)
\ " \
plural -s

Definition of grue (Entry 4 of 4)

chiefly Scottish
: thin floating ice : snow

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for grue

Intransitive verb

from earlier grow, from Middle English gruen, growen, probably from Middle Dutch grūwen; akin to Old High German ingrūēn to shiver, shudder, and probably to Old English grēot sand

Noun (2)

Middle English

Noun (3)

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grue

Statistics for grue

Cite this Entry

“Grue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grue. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on grue

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

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

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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