grue·​some | \ ˈgrü-səm How to pronounce gruesome (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of gruesome

: inspiring horror or repulsion : grisly gruesome stories of wounded comrades

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Other Words from gruesome

gruesomely adverb
gruesomeness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for gruesome

ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, lurid mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts. a ghastly accident grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty. an unusually grisly murder suffered a gruesome death macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death. a macabre tale of premature burial lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder. the lurid details of a crime

Examples of gruesome in a Sentence

The police report described the scene in gruesome detail. didn't stick around to hear the gruesome details of the car accident

Recent Examples on the Web

Hamanne, 62, did not see the crash, but described a gruesome scene in its immediate aftermath., "NTSB headed to New Hampshire to investigate crash that killed seven," 22 June 2019 Special Agents Lindsay Temes and Heather Bellar from Air Force Office of Special Investigations were among the first to arrive at the gruesome crime scene. Matt Goldfarb, CBS News, "Investigation of airman's brutal murder in Japan uncovers deception, fraud and witchcraft," 19 June 2019 The desperate teenager tried to hide inside of a bodega, but the gang members dragged him from the store and stabbed him to death as security cameras recorded the gruesome scene. Jan Ransom, New York Times, "‘Junior’ Guzman Killing: 5 Convicted of Hacking Innocent Teenager to Death," 14 June 2019 Recovery of the bodies was gruesome, investigators said. NBC News, "'Bombshell' information from girlfriend of Chris Watts helped investigators," 3 June 2019 Sport: Basketball Earnings: $34.3m A gruesome leg injury has stopped Gordon Hayward from bringing his best to the Boston Celtics, but his salary was still the sixth-highest in the NBA last season., "The 100 Highest Paid Athletes in the World," 17 June 2019 Users also posted gruesome images of human arms and other body parts and falsely claimed that the Rohingya were cannibals. New York Times, "When Rohingya Refugees Fled to India, Hate on Facebook Followed," 14 June 2019 Ms Roberts’s subjects already faced such dilemmas in 2011, when MegaTech decided that gruesome images from the Arab spring constituted news (and so could stay), but equally grim ones from gang conflicts in Central America had to go. The Economist, "The unacknowledged legislators of the online world," 14 June 2019 After suffering a gruesome fractured leg as a sophomore, Barber excelled in his final two high school seasons. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros sign second-round pick Grae Kessinger, fourth-rounder Colin Barber," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gruesome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gruesome

circa 1700, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gruesome

alteration of earlier growsome, from English dialect grow, grue to shiver, from Middle English gruen, probably from Middle Dutch grūwen; akin to Old High German ingrūēn to shiver

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Statistics for gruesome

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gruesome

The first known use of gruesome was circa 1700

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More Definitions for gruesome



English Language Learners Definition of gruesome

: causing horror or disgust


grue·​some | \ ˈgrü-səm\

Kids Definition of gruesome

: causing horror or disgust Some of the potions had effects almost too gruesome to think about …— J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets

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More from Merriam-Webster on gruesome

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gruesome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gruesome

Spanish Central: Translation of gruesome

Nglish: Translation of gruesome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gruesome for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gruesome

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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