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See more synonyms for grievance on Thesaurus.com
  1. a wrong considered as grounds for complaint, or something believed to cause distress: Inequitable taxation is the chief grievance.
  2. a complaint or resentment, as against an unjust or unfair act: to have a grievance against someone.
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Origin of grievance

1250–1300; Middle English greva(u)nce < Old French grevance. See grieve, -ance
Related formspre·griev·ance, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for grievance


  1. a real or imaginary wrong causing resentment and regarded as grounds for complaint
  2. a feeling of resentment or injustice at having been unfairly treated
  3. obsolete affliction or hardship
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Word Origin

C15 grevance, from Old French, from grever to grieve 1
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 grievance


c.1300, "state of being aggrieved," from Old French grevance "harm, injury, misfortune, trouble, suffering," from grever "to harm, to burden" (see grieve). In reference to a cause of such a condition, from late 15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with grievance


see air one's grievances.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.