- the personification of death as a man or cloaked skeleton holding a scythe.
Origin of Grim Reaper
First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
A figure commonly used to represent death. The Grim Reaper is a skeleton or solemn-looking man carrying a scythe, who cuts off people's lives as though he were harvesting grain.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.