grunt

1 of 2

verb

grunted; grunting; grunts

intransitive verb

: to utter a grunt

transitive verb

: to utter with a grunt
grunter noun

grunt

2 of 2

noun

plural grunts
1
a
: 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
4
a
: 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

Example Sentences

Verb The workers were grunting with effort as they lifted the heavy furniture. She grunted a few words in reply, then turned and walked away. Noun 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Zac would grunt and pop the dry bottle off his lips. Justin Beal, Harper’s Magazine , 12 Dec. 2022 People in this condition can sometimes grunt and groan, but otherwise are completely unresponsive to the world. Adrian Owen, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2017 Just go into a sound booth and stand there…and grunt. Nojan Aminosharei, Men's Health, 28 Nov. 2022 These specialists do grunt work that is critical to empowering artificial intelligence systems to handle complex tasks like driving safely down a city street. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, 29 June 2022 Sabrina retreated into the hallway and began to grunt. New York Times, 1 June 2022 High school didn't serve up much adventure, so Devin Murphy signed up to do grunt work on expedition ships that sailed to Alaska, Iceland, Antarctica, and other far-flung places. Devin Murphy, Outside Online, 19 Jan. 2021 Even the maxim that lifting is good only for getting big has been routinely undermined by a new legion of fitness instructors; women who were once cautioned against handling anything mightier than a hand weight now grunt and pull with abandon. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 7 Apr. 2022 And if your camels grunt and run away, take the hint. John Anderson, WSJ, 21 Oct. 2021
Noun
As for grunt, Catalina is powered by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system that promises a range of 6,500 nautical miles at 12 knots. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 10 Jan. 2023 On the road, the Encore GX feels peppier than its acceleration results suggest, particularly around town where the small turbo engine makes the most of its reasonable low-end grunt. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, 9 Dec. 2022 Whereas humans have bred dogs to dutifully attend to our every grunt and point, cats have retained that streak of independence, that touch of wildness. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 20 Nov. 2022 And when a grunt overlapped with another toadfish's mating call, that call's fundamental frequency—its voice—was altered. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 23 Oct. 2013 That's enough grunt to scoot the pricier Plaid to 60 mph in 2.1 seconds. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, 13 Jan. 2023 The fish identified as a grunt is actually a nice looking mangrove snapper, also known as a gray snapper. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Dec. 2022 As for grunt, Magnolia One is powered by two Cummins 610HP QSM11 engines that enable a top speed of 14 knots, a cruising speed of 12.5 knots and a range of 1,800 nautical miles. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 16 Dec. 2022 That's enough grunt to scoot the $137,440 Plaid to 60 mph in 2.1 seconds. Greg Fink, Car and Driver, 31 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

Noun

derivative of grunt entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near grunt

Cite this Entry

“Grunt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grunt. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

grunt

noun
ˈgrənt
1
a
: the deep short sound made by a hog
b
: a similar sound
2
: any of numerous marine fishes related to the snappers
grunt verb
grunter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on grunt

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