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[grahym] /graɪm/
dirt, soot, or other filthy matter, especially adhering to or embedded in a surface.
a style of music influenced by rap, ragga, etc., and characterized by lyrics and imagery that reference the dark side of urban life.
verb (used with object), grimed, griming.
to cover with dirt; make very dirty; soil.
Origin of grime
dialectal Dutch
1250-1300; Middle English grim; apparently special use of Old English grīma ‘mask’, to denote layer of dust; compare dialectal Dutch grijm
Related forms
ungrimed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for grime
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The grime was perpetually renewed; scrubbing only ground it in.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • Winford, foul with grime and his clothing torn to rags, stood there.

    The Space Rover Edwin K. Sloat
  • It was like beholding a dainty flower in the grime and brutality of the branding pen.

    Hidden Water Dane Coolidge
  • It is just a sordid affair of mud, shell-holes, corpses, grime and filth.

  • A single diamond glittered from the dirt and grime that soiled her finger.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
  • The dust and soot drift in and settle on our clothes, and grime our hands and face.

    Diary of a Pilgrimage Jerome K. Jerome
British Dictionary definitions for grime


dirt, soot, or filth, esp when thickly accumulated or ingrained
a genre of music originating in the East End of London and combining elements of garage, hip-hop, rap, and jungle
(transitive) to make dirty or coat with filth
Derived Forms
grimy, adjective
griminess, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Dutch grime; compare Flemish grijm, Old English grīma mask
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
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Word Origin and History for grime

1580s, of uncertain origin, probably alteration of Middle English grim "dirt, filth" (early 14c.), from Middle Low German greme "dirt," from Proto-Germanic *grim- "to smear" (cf. Flemish grijm, Middle Dutch grime "soot, mask"), from PIE root *ghrei- "to rub." The verb was Middle English grymen (mid-15c.) but was replaced early 16c. by begrime.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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