Thesaurus

grisly

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of grisly

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About grisly

How is the word grisly different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of grisly are ghastly, gruesome, lurid, and macabre. While all these words mean "horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect," grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty.

an unusually grisly murder

suffered a gruesome death

When is ghastly a more appropriate choice than grisly?

Although the words ghastly and grisly have much in common, ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts.

a ghastly accident

How do lurid and gruesome relate to one another, in the sense of grisly?

Lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder.

the lurid details of a crime

When might macabre be a better fit than grisly?

While the synonyms macabre and grisly are close in meaning, macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death.

a macabre tale of premature burial

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About grisly

Time Traveler for grisly

Time Traveler

The first known use of grisly was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About grisly

Cite this Entry

“Grisly.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/grisly. Accessed 27 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on grisly

Nglish: Translation of grisly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grisly for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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