\ 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

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

The Afghan National Army is over 46,000 personnel short of being at full strength, a shortfall in retention that is adding strain on grunts who are already exhausted defending isolated outposts and checkpoints. Donald C. Bolduc, Time, "I Served 10 Tours in Afghanistan. It’s Time for Us to Leave," 30 Aug. 2019 Of course, Saint’s grunt didn’t sound anything like the noises seals make — something his mother appeared to joke about in her video. Dave Quinn,, "Kim Kardashian's Son Saint West Hilariously Makes Seal Noises During Balboa Island Trip — Watch!," 8 Aug. 2019 To find the extra grunt for JCW models, Mini modified the crankshaft, installed new main bearings, a larger turbocharger, and JCW-specific pistons and connecting rods, and tweaked the compression ratio. Annie White, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Mini JCW Countryman and Clubman Get More Power," 14 May 2019 Velez’s designs play on the ideas of femininity, challenging with the ideas of what can be beautiful by using materials that are deemed for grunt work and transforming them into ethereal garments. Tahirah Hairston, Teen Vogue, "Teen Vogue Generation Designer Elena Velez Is Challenging The Idea of Femininity," 10 Sep. 2019 There are also a slew of derivatives — from grunts and slumps to sonkers and pandowdies — all homespun desserts of fruit and something floury and sweet to tie it all together. Marcy Goldman, Twin Cities, "With less sugar, these cobblers, crisps and crumbles let their fruit flavors shine brighter," 15 Aug. 2019 Stand silently for a moment as the warthog grunts and yanks against his chain. Ellie Shechet, The New Yorker, "How to Motivate Me During an Exercise Class," 8 Aug. 2019 Clerking was one of those entry-level journalism gigs that had few perks but endless amounts of grunt work, all for (in my case) the poverty-level wage of $1,000 a month. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "The real reason you should stop eating lunch at your desk," 21 Aug. 2019 Whale calls are usually audible for miles, but the moos and grunts of the female southern right whales were barely audible over the pounding waves, often at very low decibel levels and less frequent then usual. Fox News, "Some whales 'whisper' to their calves to evade predators," 16 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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Statistics for grunt

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

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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

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