\ 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 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 The contestants and their assistants blow, sweat, grunt, hammer, and stoke hot flames for hours on end. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "The Fiery Pleasures of “Blown Away,” a Reality-TV Competition for Glassblowing," 31 July 2019 Berto Fernandez makes the most out of his unintelligible grunts and groans as Lurch, and wears platform shoes that would intimidate Kourtney Kardashian. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Gifted cast makes ‘The Addams Family’ a treat at Welk Resort Theatre," 7 Sep. 2019 Use Your Voice to Control Your Calendar Smart homes and voice assistants are designed to take the grunt work out of day-to-day tasks, keeping you from relying on your failing brain to know what’s on your calendar, and when. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "These 10 Google Calendar Tips Will Make You the Master of Your Schedule," 23 Aug. 2019 Audible exhales and the occasional grunt filled the room. Javonte Anderson,, "Parkinson's patients enlist in karate classes to fight disease," 14 June 2019 Crucially, that 460 lb-ft is available at 1500 rpm, the lowest of the bunch, which means the most grunt right off idle. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "How Does the Chevrolet Silverado's New Duramax Turbo-Diesel Engine Compare against Ford and Ram?," 3 June 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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Statistics for grunt

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for grunt

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

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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

Comments on grunt

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concealed or difficult to comprehend

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