[ gree-vuhs ]
See synonyms for: grievousgrievouslygrievousness on

  1. causing grief or great sorrow: grievous news.

  2. full of or expressing grief; sorrowful: a grievous cry.

  1. characterized by great pain or suffering; severe: grievous bodily harm;a grievous injury.

  2. having serious effects; grave: a grievous mistake;grievous faults.

  3. extremely or shockingly wicked, cruel, brutal, etc.; atrocious: a grievous offense against morality;grievous crimes.

  4. burdensome; oppressive: to incur grievous expenses.

Origin of grievous

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English grevous, from Old French grevo(u)s; see grieve, -ous

Other words for grievous

Opposites for grievous

Other words from grievous

  • griev·ous·ly, adverb
  • griev·ous·ness, noun
  • non·griev·ous, adjective
  • non·griev·ous·ness, noun
  • o·ver·griev·ous, adjective
  • o·ver·griev·ous·ness, noun

Words Nearby grievous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use grievous in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for grievous


/ (ˈɡriːvəs) /

  1. very severe or painful: a grievous injury

  2. very serious; heinous: a grievous sin

  1. showing or marked by grief: a grievous cry

  2. causing great pain or suffering: a grievous attack

Derived forms of grievous

  • grievously, adverb
  • grievousness, noun

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