grim

adjective
\ ˈgrim How to pronounce grim (audio) \
grimmer; grimmest

Definition of grim

1 : fierce in disposition or action : savage grim wolves
2a : stern or forbidding in action or appearance a grim taskmaster
b : somber, gloomy grim news of the disaster
3 : ghastly, repellent, or sinister in character a grim tale
4 : unflinching, unyielding grim determination

Other Words from grim

grimly adverb
grimness noun

Examples of grim in a Sentence

Hikers made a grim discovery when they came across a dead body in the woods. The accident serves as a grim reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving. The prognosis is grim—doctors do not expect her to live longer than six months. He paints a grim picture of the prospects for peace. His face looked grim, and we knew his news wouldn't be good.
Recent Examples on the Web Brutalism began to be criticized for seeming too severe, grim, and abstract, while brutalist structures fell into disrepair as dirty, graffitied eyesores. Kristin Tablang, House Beautiful, 13 June 2022 The soil collection Saturday was a grim and solemn memorial for members of the Black community and others in Utah who say Coleman’s and Harvey’s lives and deaths have never been properly recognized. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 June 2022 But the drama, based on the 2009 Philipp Meyer novel about a murder in a Pennsylvania steel town, was relentlessly grim and lacking in urgency. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 10 June 2022 The experience of many North African and Middle Eastern immigrants here has been grim. Rick Noack And Sandra Mehl, Anchorage Daily News, 13 May 2022 The experience of many North African and Middle Eastern immigrants here has been grim. Sandra Mehl, Washington Post, 12 May 2022 The conditions were grim, as illnesses often run through the units. Phil Mccausland, NBC News, 6 May 2022 With no end in sight to Chinese President Xi Jinping's zero-Covid strategy, the outlook for Adidas' business in China — which accounted for about 20% of the company's sales last year — is grim. Anna Cooban, CNN, 6 May 2022 The Soviet-style estate where the Vilchynskas are staying in Warsaw may be grim, but their apartment reverberates with their hearty laughter. Amandas Ong, ELLE, 3 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of grim

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grim

Middle English, "fierce, savage, terrifying, repellent, violent, severe," going back to Old English grimm "fierce, savage, harsh, severe," going back to Germanic *grimma-, from earlier *gremma- (whence also Old Frisian grim, grem "fierce, severe, frightening," Old Saxon grimm "fierce, hostile, severe," Old High German grim, grimmi, Old Norse grimmr), adjective derivative from the base of *grimman- "to rage" (whence Old English & Old Saxon grimman "to rage," Old High German grimmen), probably going back to *ghrem-ne-, nasal present from an Indo-European verbal base *ghrem- "roar, rage," whence Avestan graməṇt- "raging," Greek chremetízein "to neigh, whinny," chrémisan "(they) neighed"; with zero-grade ablaut Old Church Slavic vŭzgrĭmě "thundered, roared," Lithuanian grumiù, grumė́ti "to roar, thunder"; with o-grade ablaut Germanic *gram- (whence Old English, Old Saxon & Old High German gram "angry, hostile, fierce," Old Norse gramr "anger," Old English gremman, gremian "to anger, enrage," Old High German gremmen, Old Norse gremja, Gothic gramjan), Old Church Slavic gromŭ "thunder," Greek chrómos, chrómē (Hesychius) "kind of noise, snorting, neighing," chrómados "grinding of jaws" (cf. chromis)

Note: The base *ghrem- is most likely of onomatopoeic origin, with different semantic developments in the Indo-European branch languages.

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Time Traveler for grim

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near grim

grilse

grim

Grim's ditch

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grim. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for grim

grim

adjective
\ ˈgrim How to pronounce grim (audio) \
grimmer; grimmest

Kids Definition of grim

2 : harsh in action or appearance : stern a grim look
3 : gloomy sense 3, dismal grim news
4 : showing firmness and seriousness grim determination
5 : frightful sense 1 a grim tale

Other Words from grim

grimly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on grim

Nglish: Translation of grim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grim for Arabic Speakers

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