\ ˈgrənt How to pronounce grunt (audio) \
grunted; grunting; grunts

Definition of grunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to utter a grunt

transitive verb

: to utter with a grunt



Definition of grunt (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the deep short sound characteristic of a hog
b : a similar sound
2 [ from the noise it makes when taken from the water ] : any of a family (Haemulidae synonym Pomadasyidae) of chiefly tropical marine bony fishes
3 : a dessert made by dropping biscuit dough on top of boiling berries and steaming blueberry grunt
4a : a U.S. army or marine foot soldier especially in the Vietnam War
b : one who does routine unglamorous work often used attributively grunt work

Illustration of grunt

Illustration of grunt


grunt 2

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from grunt


grunter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for grunt

Synonyms: Verb

chunter [British], mouth, mumble, murmur, mutter

Synonyms: Noun

grunting, mumble, murmur, murmuring, mutter, muttering

Antonyms: Verb

speak out, speak up

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Examples of grunt in a Sentence


The workers were grunting with effort as they lifted the heavy furniture. She grunted a few words in reply, then turned and walked away.


the grunt of a pig I could hear the grunts of the movers as they lifted the heavy furniture. He answered her with a grunt. He was a grunt who worked his way up to become an officer. He's just a grunt in the attorney's office.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Being so exposed is an eerie feeling at first, to be sure, but the serenade of chirping frogs and grunting hippos becomes familiar in due course. Virginia Van Zanten, Vogue, "Why Botswana Should Top Your Travel List in 2019," 27 Dec. 2018 The room was buzzing with dudes grunting over the clatter of metal on metal. Gray Chapman, SELF, "Here's How I Conquered Weight Room Anxiety," 8 Sep. 2018 Midtown Athletic Club had become a hive of activity across its three floors: running, leaping, lunging, lifting, pushing, pulling, crawling, tossing, throwing, grunting and sweating. Josh Noel,, "Chilling out, working out with a Midtown Athletic Club winter wellness staycation," 13 Feb. 2018 So when a sailor next to him grunted and groaned throughout the training and made under-the-breath comments about issues such as which bathroom a transgender person should use, Taryn wasn’t fazed. Washington Post, "President Trump tweeted, sailor’s career is on the line," 26 Feb. 2018 When Ward bent down to tie Baker's shoes, the drummer grunted and bellowed like a wounded water buffalo. Gogo Lidz, Newsweek, "Ginger Baker Hates You," 16 Oct. 2013 Shame on this pig and everyone who grunted with him. Oliver Gettell,, "James Corden apologizes for Weinstein jokes: 'Sexual assault is no laughing matter'," 15 Oct. 2017 Anyway, for all that ails tennis, grunting never much bothered me. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: What Do Tennis Fans Really Want?," 4 Oct. 2017 While Modell spoke, Groza stood behind the couch, eating a sandwich and grunting his disapproval. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Losing interest in the NFL | Tim Sullivan," 9 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Photo: Tira Howard Some resistors blame new technology for piling on grunt work that others should handle. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "Do You Resist New Tech at the Office?," 10 June 2019 Early on in Anna and the Apocalypse, the new Scottish Christmas zombie high school musical, the protagonist, Anna (Ella Hunt), hears a disgusting growling grunt from behind her. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Why zombies are so hilarious," 5 Dec. 2018 That broad torque spread results in a forgiving playfulness so that, even if the driver picks the wrong gear for a corner, there’s enough grunt to pull through it. James Lipman, Car and Driver, "2018 Audi A5 Sportback vs. 2018 BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe, 2018 Kia Stinger AWD," 1 Feb. 2018 There’s enough punch to make passing moves and enough grunt to get off the line. Robert Duffer,, "Auto review: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is like a good winter coat," 9 Jan. 2018 More often than not, the thankless grunt work carried out by offensive linemen on a football field goes unnoticed and underappreciated. Theo Lawson, The Seattle Times, "Mike Leach praises freshman OL Abraham Lucas: ‘One of the best offensive linemen in the conference’," 6 Nov. 2018 There are cabinets full of silver trophy cups, as well as Novak perfume, Novak sunglasses, and Novak T-shirts—some even depicting the player mid-grunt—for sale. Alyson Krueger, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Novak Djokovic Is Helping Turn Belgrade, Serbia Into Your Next Destination," 25 July 2018 Taser rounds would give grunts the ability to take down individuals who present less than a lethal threat and avoid nasty diplomatic fallout from lethal shootings. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Marines Want Non-Lethal Taser Rounds to Stun Angry Crowds," 6 Sep. 2018 From the grassy spot, the grunts and shouts of dozens of exercising midshipmen on Forrest Sherman Field float up to the grave site. Laurie Kellman, Fox News, "McCain to be buried near best friend at US Naval Academy," 27 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grunt.' 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 grunt


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for grunt

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English grunnettan, frequentative of grunian, of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for grunt

The first known use of grunt was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for grunt



English Language Learners Definition of grunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make a short, low sound : to make a grunt
: to say (something) with a grunt



English Language Learners Definition of grunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a short, low sound from the throat
informal : a U.S. soldier especially in the Vietnam War
US, informal : a person who does ordinary and boring work


\ ˈgrənt How to pronounce grunt (audio) \
grunted; grunting

Kids Definition of grunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make a short low sound



Kids Definition of grunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a short low sound (as of a pig)

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More from Merriam-Webster on grunt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grunt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grunt

Spanish Central: Translation of grunt

Nglish: Translation of grunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grunt for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about grunt

Comments on grunt

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


to take the place or position of

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