• synonyms


[griz-uh ld]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. having gray or partly gray hair.
  2. gray or partly gray.

Origin of grizzled

1350–1400; Middle English. See grizzle1, -ed3
Related formsun·griz·zled, adjective
Can be confusedgrisly gristly grizzled grizzly


[griz-uh l]
verb (used with or without object), griz·zled, griz·zling.
  1. to make or become gray or partly gray.
  1. gray; grayish; devoid of hue.
  1. gray or partly gray hair.
  2. a gray wig.

Origin of grizzle1

1350–1400; Middle English grisel < Old French, derivative of gris gray < Germanic; see griseous


[griz-uh l]
verb (used without object), griz·zled, griz·zling. British.
  1. to complain; whimper; whine.
  2. to laugh or grin in mockery; sneer.

Origin of grizzle2

1740–50; origin uncertain; compare Middle High German grisgramen to gnash one's teeth, German Griesgram sourpuss
Related formsgriz·zler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grizzled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for grizzled


  1. streaked or mixed with grey; grizzly; griseous
  2. having grey or partly grey hair


  1. to make or become grey
  1. a grey colour
  2. grey or partly grey hair
  3. a grey wig

Word Origin

C15: from Old French grisel, from gris, of Germanic origin; compare Middle High German grīs grey


verb (intr) informal, mainly British
  1. (esp of a child) to fret; whine
  2. to sulk or grumble
Derived Formsgrizzler, noun

Word Origin

C18: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German grist-grimmōn gnashing of teeth, German Griesgram unpleasant person
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 grizzled


"gray in color," early 14c. (in surname Grissel), a past participle adjective from grizzle, or from Old French grisel "gray," diminutive of gris "gray," from a Frankish or other Germanic source (cf. Old High German gris "gray;" see gray, also cf. ambergris). The -zz- spelling is early 15c.



"gray-colored," early 15c., from Old French grisel (see grizzled) which also meant "gray-haired old man" (a noun sense recorded in Middle English from mid-14c.). The verb, "to make gray," is attested from 1740.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper