\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The University of Dayton alum worked her way up in the party, showing a willingness to volunteer on campaigns and do all the grunt work that comes with that – knocking on doors, making donor phone calls and stuffing envelopes. Jason Williams,, "PX column: She's shown compassion and stood up to Trump. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has been a rock star. What's it mean for her future?," 8 Aug. 2019 But first, startling fact No. 1: Fish chatter – and honk and grunt. The Christian Science Monitor, "Incurable food allergy healed," 26 July 2019 Last October, Opendoor and Zillow Offers, entered the Denver market, buying homes directly from sellers and handling the grunt work of repairs, showings and haggling with buyers. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Amazon and Realogy join forces to win over home buyers in metro Denver," 24 July 2019 Shales uses free deep-learning programs like FaceSwap and DeepFaceLab to replace faces in videos, but also requires a lot of human grunt work to get a good-looking final result. Rachel Metz, CNN, "Baby Elon Musk, rapping Kim Kardashian: Welcome to the world of silly deepfakes," 22 June 2019 Chimpanzees lower themselves in the presence of high-ranking individuals and issue a special kind of grunt to greet them. Frans De Waal, Discover Magazine, "Cheerful Chimps: Are Animals Really Happy When They Smile?," 31 May 2019 That low-end grunt lets the CT6 move effortlessly around town and hustle up highway on-ramps without having to rev to the screaming high end of the tachometer. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Why GM Finally Let Cadillac Build an All-New Twin-Turbo V8," 28 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grunt

Dictionary Entries near grunt








Statistics for grunt

Last Updated

26 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grunt

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!