• synonyms


[groo-suh m]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. gruesome.
Related formsgrew·some·ly, adverbgrew·some·ness, noun


or grew·some

[groo-suh m]
  1. causing great horror; horribly repugnant; grisly: the site of a gruesome murder.
  2. full of or causing problems; distressing: a gruesome day at the office.

Origin of gruesome

1560–70; obsolete grue to shudder (cognate with German grauen, Dutch gruwen) + -some1
Related formsgrue·some·ly, adverbgrue·some·ness, nounun·grue·some, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grewsome

Historical Examples

  • This grewsome horseplay in Europe's front yard would start it.

    Erik Dorn</p>

    Ben Hecht

  • Every fourth or fifth residence yielded its toll to the grewsome lure.

    A Son of the City</p>

    Herman Gastrell Seely

  • In his throat was an odd, half-suppressed cry, grewsome to hear.

  • Gory and grewsome,—he is the mainstay Of the historic novel of to-day.

    A Phenomenal Fauna

    Carolyn Wells

  • Cardinal Lorraine is said to have gone by this grewsome, subterranean passage.

    In Chteau Land</p>

    Anne Hollingsworth Wharton

British Dictionary definitions for grewsome


  1. an archaic or US spelling of gruesome


  1. inspiring repugnance and horror; ghastly
Derived Formsgruesomely, adverbgruesomeness, noun

Word Origin

C16: originally Northern English and Scottish; see grue, -some 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for grewsome



1560s, with -some (1) + Middle English gruen "feel horror, shudder" (c.1300); not recorded in Old English or Norse, possibly from Middle Dutch gruwen or Middle Low German gruwen "shudder with fear" (cf. German grausam "cruel"), or from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish grusom "cruel," grue "to dread," though others hold that these are Low German loan-words). One of the many Scottish words popularized in England by Scott's novels.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper