\ 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 attributivelygrunt 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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of grunt in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On another wall, 88 carved Asuras and 92 devas seem to grunt with effort in an illustration of the Hindu legend of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Kareena Gianani, National Geographic, "Explore Cambodia’s ancient stone city," 10 Sep. 2019 But there were also many exchanges that broke free of conventional patterns, and both men often seemed to be grunting not out of habit but out of a genuine need to add something extra to each shot that might make the other miss. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Rafael Nadal Shows Why the Young Guard Will Have to Wait," 9 Sep. 2019 All of these different species of animals were sharing a watering hole and never once grunted at each other. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "How Photographer Stephen Wilkes Captures a Full Day in a Single Image," 7 Sep. 2019 Bev and Emily grunted their way up the truck’s narrow ramp, taking frequent breaks, and shoved the love seat against the truck’s wall. J. Robert Lennon, The New Yorker, "The Loop," 19 Aug. 2019 Part 5 will be an auditory treat featuring the mysterious sounds of the sea, from grunting haddock to singing cusk eels. Amanda Paulson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Message in a bottle: Forensics meets marine science with eDNA," 15 Aug. 2019 Part 5 will be an auditory treat featuring the mysterious sounds of the sea, from grunting haddock to singing cusk eels. Amanda Paulson, The Christian Science Monitor, "No light, no problem: The improbable wonders of deep-sea coral," 2 Aug. 2019 The results do not show whether grunting loudly in other situations and sports would produce the same results. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "To Boost Sports Performance (and Annoy Your Opponents), Grunt," 7 Mar. 2018 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There’s the churning of sediment, the hums, grunts and growls of fishes and turtles. Shreya Dasgupta, Quartz India, "Noisy ships on India’s Ganga river are drowning the clicks of dolphins," 21 Nov. 2019 Sony Classics/Everett Collection How much can an actor say with a grunt, or a scowl? Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The 10 Best Movie Performances of the 2010s," 14 Nov. 2019 From upstairs there came a grunt, the clearing of phlegm, a cough or two, more grunting, and then a voice that said, Who’s that? David Means, The New Yorker, "Are You Experienced?," 14 Oct. 2019 The semifinal the next day was intense and strange, almost too intimate to watch, filled with power, grunts, operatic points and dozens of unforced errors. Elizabeth Weil, New York Times, "Did Venus Williams Ever Get Her Due?," 22 Aug. 2019 In a nearly empty Chase Field early Tuesday afternoon, loud grunts resonated from the home bullpen, followed by the pop of a catcher’s mitt. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Robbie Ray nears return as Arizona Diamondbacks' rotation remains in flux," 20 Aug. 2019 Data-labelling is the sort of grunt work that corporate AI-users would prefer someone else to do for them. The Economist, "Data-labelling startups want to help improve corporate AI," 19 Oct. 2019 Participants will do the most simplistic of grunt work: uploading 10 representative photos of their diving or snorkelling site with a corresponding GPS tag. Jessica Wynne Lockhart, Smithsonian, "Massive Citizen Science Effort Seeks to Survey the Entire Great Barrier Reef," 17 Oct. 2019 With an officer still on top of him, Timpa’s pleas fade to indecipherable grunts. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, "Police laughed and joked as he lost consciousness in handcuffs. Minutes later, he died.," 31 July 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for grunt

Cite this Entry

“Grunt.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for grunt


How to pronounce grunt (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grunt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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