- stern and admitting of no appeasement or compromise: grim determination; grim necessity.
- of a sinister or ghastly character; repellent: a grim joke.
- having a harsh, surly, forbidding, or morbid air: a grim man but a just one; a grim countenance.
- fierce, savage, or cruel: War is a grim business.
Origin of grim
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for grimly
Walmart is actually defying the logic embraced so grimly by Sears, Kmart, and millions of citizen-shoppers.Walmart Lifts Black Friday’s Curse
November 26, 2014
Savage Coast uses this technique to great effect, especially as the novel builds to its determined, grimly triumphant dénouement.The Art of Rediscovery: Muriel Rukeyser’s “Savage Coast”
August 16, 2013
Libertarians, of course, have grimly wished a pox on both their houses of Congress.Big Brother Is Watching Your Cell Phone
June 6, 2013
Ross Douthat has a grimly ironic take on sequestration: Yes it's dumb, but so are we.The Sequestration 'The Public' Deserves?
March 5, 2013
In the Financial Times today, business leader Mortimer Zuckerman grimly summarizes the crisis in American jobs and wages.We're Going to Need a Bigger Raft to Fight the Jobs Crisis
January 18, 2013
The Bines what-not in the sitting-room was grimly orthodox in its equipment.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
"You will find out what I am going to do," said Ben, grimly.Brave and Bold
"You would only call once," he said very gently, yet most grimly.
"You can see for yourself," he said grimly to the dumfounded magnate.
"Have to be higher than that," the Inspector commented, grimly.
- stern; resolutegrim determination
- harsh or formidable in manner or appearance
- harshly ironic or sinistergrim laughter
- cruel, severe, or ghastlya grim accident
- archaic, or poetic fiercea grim warrior
- informal unpleasant; disagreeable
- hold on like grim death to hold very firmly or resolutely
Word Origin and History for grimly
Old English grimm "fierce, cruel, savage, dire, painful," from Proto-Germanic *grimmaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German, German grimm, Old Norse grimmr, Swedish grym "fierce, furious"), from PIE *ghrem- "angry," perhaps imitative of the sound of rumbling thunder (cf. Greek khremizein "to neigh," Old Church Slavonic vuzgrimeti "to thunder," Russian gremet' "thunder").
A weaker word now than once it was; sense of "dreary, gloomy" first recorded late 12c. It also had a verb form in Old English, grimman (class III strong verb; past tense gramm, p.p. grummen). Old English also had a noun, grima "goblin, specter," perhaps also a proper name or attribute-name of a god, hence its appearance as an element in place names.
Grim reaper as a figurative way to say "death" is attested by 1847 (the association of grim and death goes back at least to 17c.). A Middle English expression for "have recourse to harsh measures" was to wend the grim tooth (early 13c.).
"spectre, bogey, haunting spirit," 1620s, from grim (adj.).