SYNONYMS | WORD ORIGIN | IDIOMS noun keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow. Idioms come to grief, to suffer disappointment, misfortune, or other trouble; fail: Their marriage came to grief after only two years. good grief, (used as an exclamation of dismay, surprise, or relief): Good grief, it's started to rain again! Origin of grief 1175–1225; Middle English gref, grief
grieve Related forms grief·less, adjective grief·less·ness, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for good grief noun deep or intense sorrow or distress, esp at the death of someone something that causes keen distress or suffering informal trouble or annoyance people were giving me grief for leaving ten minutes early come to grief informal to end unsuccessfully or disastrously Derived Forms griefless, adjective Word Origin for grief
C13: from Anglo-French
gref, from grever to grieve 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for good grief n.
early 13c., "hardship, suffering, pain, bodily affliction," from Old French
grief "wrong, grievance, injustice, misfortune, calamity" (13c.), from grever "afflict, burden, oppress," from Latin gravare "to cause grief, make heavy," from gravis "weighty" (see grave (adj.)). Meaning "mental pain, sorrow" is from c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Medicine definitions for good grief n. Deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Idioms and Phrases with good grief
An exclamation expressing surprise, alarm, dismay, or some other, usually negative emotion. For example,
Good grief! You're not going to start all over again, or Good grief! He's dropped the cake. The term is a euphemism for “good God.” [Early 1900s]
see come to grief; good grief.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.