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90s Slang You Should Know


or grewsome

[groo-suh m] /ˈgru səm/
causing great horror; horribly repugnant; grisly:
the site of a gruesome murder.
full of or causing problems; distressing:
a gruesome day at the office.
Origin of gruesome
1560-70; obsolete grue to shudder (cognate with German grauen, Dutch gruwen) + -some1
Related forms
gruesomely, adverb
gruesomeness, noun
ungruesome, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gruesome
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was something in the situation that was more than gruesome, something that was peculiarly unnerving.

    The Secret of the League Ernest Bramah
  • Then there was the gruesome task of digging up the body of poor Evans.

    Across the Spanish Main Harry Collingwood
  • My recollection is even now confused as to the following moments and our stumbling escape from that gruesome spot.

    Humorous Ghost Stories Dorothy Scarborough
  • We did not often discuss these gruesome possibilities, although this was not Drew's fault.

    High Adventure James Norman Hall
  • Exclamations of horror greeted this gruesome tale, the relevancy of which no one had as yet perceived.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
British Dictionary definitions for gruesome


inspiring repugnance and horror; ghastly
Derived Forms
gruesomely, adverb
gruesomeness, noun
Word Origin
C16: originally Northern English and Scottish; see grue, -some1
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 gruesome

1560s, with -some (1) + Middle English gruen "feel horror, shudder" (c.1300); not recorded in Old English or Norse, possibly from Middle Dutch gruwen or Middle Low German gruwen "shudder with fear" (cf. German grausam "cruel"), or from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish grusom "cruel," grue "to dread," though others hold that these are Low German loan-words). One of the many Scottish words popularized in England by Scott's novels.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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