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[groh-suh-ree, grohs-ree] /ˈgroʊ sə ri, ˈgroʊs ri/
noun, plural groceries.
Also called grocery store. a grocer's store.
Usually, groceries; especially British. grocery. food and other commodities sold by a grocer.
the business of a grocer.
Southwestern U.S.
  1. a saloon or bar.
  2. a liquor store.
Origin of grocery
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English grocerie < Old French grosserie. See gross, -ery Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for groceries
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That meant Scotty was returning from the mainland with the groceries and the mail.

    The Blue Ghost Mystery Harold Leland Goodwin
  • You might as well expect a groceryman to be out of groceries as a bellows to be out of breath.

    Andiron Tales John Kendrick Bangs
  • The boys are off fishing; father's up working in Lady Leroy's garden, and Ann's gone to town for groceries.

    A Changed Heart May Agnes Fleming
  • The rest of the week's pay had gone to Lou Hibbard for groceries.

  • The plan that had popped into Jerry's mind was this—he would not pay for groceries for the month of April but charge them.

    Jerry's Charge Account Hazel Hutchins Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for groceries


plural noun
merchandise, esp foodstuffs, sold by a grocer


noun (pl) -ceries
the business or premises of a grocer
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 groceries

see grocery.



mid-15c., "goods sold by a grocer" (now groceries, 1630s), earlier the name of the Grocer's Hall in London (early 15c.), from Old French grosserie, from grossier (see grocer). Meaning "a grocer's shop" is 1828, American English.

GROCERY. A grocer's shop. This word is not in the English dictionaries except in the sense of grocer's ware, such as tea, sugar, spice, etc.; in which sense we also use it in the plural. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]
Self-service groceries were a novelty in 1913 when a Montana, U.S., firm copyrighted the word groceteria (with the ending from cafeteria used in an un-etymological sense) to name them. The term existed through the 1920s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for groceries



A meal or meals: I got hooked for the groceries (1940s+)

Related Terms

bring home the bacon

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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