grum·​bling | \ ˈgrəm-b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce grumbling (audio) \
plural grumblings

Definition of grumbling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a mutter of discontent : complaint Operators of bars and restaurants, who hear the first-hand grumblings of customers on the boardwalk, tend to oppose the ordinance.— Kevin Robinson
2 : a growling or reverberating noise : rumbling On a shorter timescale, researchers and governments are working together to detect the first grumblings of an earthquake and alert communities that might be affected.— Eva Botkin-Kowacki



Definition of grumbling (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : expressing discontent especially by muttering Meanwhile, grumbling fans wondered why the new coach hadn't hired any Ohioans for his staff.— Erick Adelson
2 : making a low, heavy, rolling sound There was no sound, still, but the rushing river and the grumbling, looming storm.— Susan Cooper

Other Words from grumbling


grumblingly \ ˈgrəm-​b(ə-​)liŋ-​lē How to pronounce grumblingly (audio) \ adverb
Some marine park wardens were doing a quick flyover, perhaps to check that we weren't poachers, and Al grumblingly went below to answer the crackling radio. — Tony Perrottet

First Known Use of grumbling


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of grumbling was in 1598

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Cite this Entry

“Grumbling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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