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grim

[grim]
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adjective, grim·mer, grim·mest.
  1. stern and admitting of no appeasement or compromise: grim determination; grim necessity.
  2. of a sinister or ghastly character; repellent: a grim joke.
  3. having a harsh, surly, forbidding, or morbid air: a grim man but a just one; a grim countenance.
  4. fierce, savage, or cruel: War is a grim business.
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Origin of grim

before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German grimm, Old Norse grimmr
Related formsgrim·ly, adverbgrim·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. harsh, unyielding. 2. frightful, horrible, dire, appalling, horrid, grisly, gruesome, hideous, dreadful. 3. severe, stern, hard. 4. ferocious, ruthless.

Antonyms

1. lenient. 2. attractive. 3. gentle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grimmest

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Dick believed that Grant must have laughed one of his grimmest laughs.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • That night, winter, in its grimmest sense, settled upon Quinton.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock

  • "You're a likely youngster, you ere," he said, looking down at him with the grimmest of smiles.

  • Sister Gaillarde patted me on the shoulder with her grimmest smile.

    In Convent Walls

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • "I am glad to have been of service," said the other, looking his grimmest.


British Dictionary definitions for grimmest

grim

adjective grimmer or grimmest
  1. stern; resolutegrim determination
  2. harsh or formidable in manner or appearance
  3. harshly ironic or sinistergrim laughter
  4. cruel, severe, or ghastlya grim accident
  5. archaic, or poetic fiercea grim warrior
  6. informal unpleasant; disagreeable
  7. hold on like grim death to hold very firmly or resolutely
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Derived Formsgrimly, adverbgrimness, noun

Word Origin

Old English grimm; related to Old Norse grimmr, Old High German grimm savage, Greek khremizein to neigh
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 grimmest

grim

adj.

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.).

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grim

n.

"spectre, bogey, haunting spirit," 1620s, from grim (adj.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper