1 of 4

intransitive verb

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


2 of 4

noun (1)

plural -s
: a fit of shivering : shiver
the sound of wind in the rigging … gave him the chills and the gruesR. B. Robertson
impossible to read without a certain cold grueS. V. Benét
: gruesome quality or effect
a mystery novel … resolved with true grueAnthony Boucher
serves the chilliest grue with perfect eleganceJ. S. Sandoe


3 of 4

noun (2)

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


4 of 4

noun (3)

plural -s
chiefly Scottish
: thin floating ice : snow

Word History


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

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!

Dictionary Entries Near grue

Cite this Entry

“Grue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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