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.

Origin of grieve

1175–1225; Middle English greven, grieven < Old French grever < Latin gravāre to burden, derivative of gravis heavy, grave2
Related formsgriev·ed·ly [gree-vid-lee, greevd-] /ˈgri vɪd li, ˈgrivd-/, adverbgriev·er, noungriev·ing·ly, adverbnon·grieved, adjectivenon·griev·ing, adjectiveo·ver·grieve, verb, o·ver·grieved, o·ver·griev·ing.un·grieved, adjectiveun·griev·ing, adjective
Can be confusedgreave grieve

Synonyms for grieve

1. lament, weep, bewail, bemoan; suffer. 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. 2. sadden, pain. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grieving

Contemporary Examples of grieving

Historical Examples of grieving

  • Strange to see him struggle with his disappointment like a grieving child!

  • It was a long, grieving sound, like a sigh—almost like a sob.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Sad and mournful are thy ways, Grieving, wailing, Autumn days!

    Farm Ballads

    Will Carleton

  • And who are you, tell me that, who instead of grieving for yourself, are grieving for others?

  • She is grieving us deeply, and that is why I am sure that she is not well.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

British Dictionary definitions for grieving




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 Formsgriever, noungrieving, noun, adjectivegrievingly, adverb

Word Origin for grieve

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




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

Word Origin and History for grieving

mid-15c., "causing pain," present participle adjective from grieve. Meaning "feeling pain" is from 1807.



early 13c., "cause pain," from tonic stem of Old French grever "to burden, oppress, aggravate" (see grief). Meaning "be very sad, lament" is from c.1300. Related: Grieved; grieving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper