Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[groo-uh l] /ˈgru əl/
a light, usually thin, cooked cereal made by boiling meal, especially oatmeal, in water or milk.
Origin of gruel
1275-1325; Middle English < Middle French, Old French, equivalent to gru- (< Germanic; see grout) + -el diminutive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for gruel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Next morning they have a bath, paddy is pounded, and gruel prepared for the abstainers.

  • And then, when the gruel is eaten up, smash the bowl on the ground.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • In some cases the dietary includes bread and cheese, with gruel, and sometimes even the luxury of butter is added.

    About London J. Ewing Ritchie
  • She set the gruel on the back of the stove and went in to his bedside.

    Ladies-In-Waiting Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • The street was filled with women, and one of them, passing with a bowl of gruel in her hand, came back and held it to his lips.

    The Battle Ground Ellen Glasgow
  • It was not as large as it is now, but it was large enough to cook my gruel.

    A Black Adonis Linn Boyd Porter
British Dictionary definitions for gruel


a drink or thin porridge, made by boiling meal, esp oatmeal, in water or milk
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, of Germanic origin; see grout
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gruel

late 12c., "meal or flour made of beans, lentils, etc.," from Old French gruel "fine meal," from Frankish *grut (cf. Middle Dutch grute "coarse meal, malt;" Middle High German gruz "grain"), from PIE *ghreu- "to rub, grind" (see grit). Meaning "thin porridge or soup" is late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for gruel

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for gruel

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for gruel