[ greev ]
/ griv /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: grieve / grieved / grieving / griever on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), grieved, griev·ing.
to feel grief or great sorrow: She has grieved over his death for nearly three years.
verb (used with object), grieved, griev·ing.
to distress mentally; cause to feel grief or sorrow: It grieves me to see you so unhappy.
Archaic. to oppress or wrong.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of grieve

1175–1225; Middle English greven, grieven from Old French grever from Latin gravāre “to burden,” derivative of gravis “heavy,” grave2

synonym study for grieve

1. Grieve, mourn imply showing suffering caused by sorrow. Grieve is the stronger word, implying deep mental suffering often endured alone and in silence but revealed by one's aspect: to grieve over the loss (or death ) of a friend. Mourn usually refers to manifesting sorrow outwardly, either with or without sincerity: to mourn publicly and wear black.



greave, grieve
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does grieve mean?

To grieve is to feel or express intense grief—mental or emotional suffering or distress caused by loss or regret.

Grieve often means the same thing as mourn. It’s especially used in the context of someone who is mourning the death of a loved one.

However, the word can also be used in the context of other situations involving loss or regret, such as the end of a relationship or the loss of a job.

Less commonly, grieve can mean to cause someone to feel grief, as in It grieves me to see you so sad.

Grieve should not be confused with bereave, which means to take away and leave devastated. Those who are grieving are those who have been bereaved.

Example: After losing someone close, it’s important to take the time to grieve.

Where does grieve come from?

The first records of the word grieve come from around 1200. It comes from the Latin verb gravāre, meaning “to burden,” from gravis, “heavy.” The same root forms the basis of the words gravity and the adjective grave meaning “serious.”

People who are grieving—and those who try to help them deal with their grief—often become familiar with the popular theory that there are five stages of grief, which was developed by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. According to Kübler-Ross, the five stages of grief are:

  1. Denial (This stage involves difficulty believing that what has happened is real.)
  2. Anger (This involves frustration that it has happened to you.)
  3. Bargaining (This can involve thinking about “what if” and trying to find some way out of what has happened.)
  4. Depression. (This involves the sorrow that comes with the realization that what has happened is real and nothing can be done to change it.)
  5. Acceptance. (This stage involves accepting what has happened and attempting to move on.)

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to grieve?

  • grieving (continuous tense verb, noun)
  • grievingly (adverb)
  • griever (noun)

What are some synonyms for grieve?

What are some words that share a root or word element with grieve

What are some words that often get used in discussing grieve?

How is grieve used in real life?

Grieve is most commonly used in the context of someone who is mourning the death of a loved one. But it can also be used in other situations involving loss.



Try using grieve!

Is grieve used correctly in the following sentence?

To all the families who are grieving the loss of a loved one, I offer you my sincere condolences.

How to use grieve in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for grieve (1 of 2)

/ (ɡriːv) /

to feel or cause to feel great sorrow or distress, esp at the death of someone
(tr) obsolete to inflict injury, hardship, or sorrow on

Derived forms of grieve

griever, noungrieving, noun, adjectivegrievingly, adverb

Word Origin for grieve

C13: from Old French grever, from Latin gravāre to burden, from gravis heavy

British Dictionary definitions for grieve (2 of 2)

/ (ɡriːv) /

Scot a farm manager or overseer

Word Origin for grieve

C15: from Old English (Northumbrian) græfa reeve
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