grumble

verb

grum·​ble ˈgrəm-bəl How to pronounce grumble (audio)
grumbled; grumbling ˈgrəm-b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce grumble (audio)

intransitive verb

1
: to mutter in discontent
grumbled about the scarcity of jobs
2
: growl, rumble
Thunder grumbled in the distance.

transitive verb

: to express with grumbling
grumbled his annoyance
grumble noun
grumbler noun
grumbly adjective

Example Sentences

There's been a lot of grumbling among the employees. Some of the customers have been grumbling about poor service. Fans grumbled about the team's poor play. “When are we going to leave?” he grumbled. We could hear thunder grumbling in the distance.
Recent Examples on the Web But even in town, some grumble about lack of consultation or transparency. Catherine Porter, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2022 Some local Democrats privately grumble that her outreach has been insufficient and that her national celebrity has turned off practical-minded voters. Time, 7 Oct. 2022 However, the rampant construction of warehouses has drawn the ire of some native Ohioans, who grumble about the traffic and pollution, among other disruptions. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 19 Oct. 2022 In a September 2022 video, TikToker @liebmaple managed to romanticize something most city-dwellers don’t just take for granted, but actively grumble about: commuting on mass transit. Samantha Vincenty, SELF, 4 Oct. 2022 Likewise, fans grumble a little less about rising ticket prices when their team is on a roll. Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel, 1 Sep. 2022 Some surfers grumble about the crowded lineup, blaming the explosion of soft-tops, a complaint that Zilinskas has heard a lot and dismisses. Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2022 Instagram offers a stream of photos of blossoms this time of year, even as those who live near them grumble and scrub. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 17 June 2022 The president gets to appoint people to the Fed, but then gets to quietly grumble about them like the rest of us. David Goldman, CNN, 31 May 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

probably from Middle French grommeler, ultimately from Middle Dutch grommen; akin to Old High German grimm grim

First Known Use

1580, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of grumble was in 1580

Dictionary Entries Near grumble

Cite this Entry

“Grumble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grumble. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

grumble

verb
grum·​ble ˈgrəm-bəl How to pronounce grumble (audio)
grumbled; grumbling -b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce grumble (audio)
1
: to mutter in discontent
2
grumble noun
grumbler noun
grumblingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on grumble

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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