causing grief or great sorrow: grievous news.
flagrant; outrageous; atrocious: a grievous offense against morality.
full of or expressing grief; sorrowful: a grievous cry.
burdensome or oppressive.
causing great pain or suffering: arrested for causing grievous bodily harm to someone in a bar.

Origin of grievous

1250–1300; Middle English grevous < Old French grevo(u)s. See grieve, -ous
Related formsgriev·ous·ly, adverbgriev·ous·ness, nounnon·griev·ous, adjectivenon·griev·ous·ly, adverbnon·griev·ous·ness, nouno·ver·griev·ous, adjectiveo·ver·griev·ous·ly, adverbo·ver·griev·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for grievous

Antonyms for grievous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grievously

Contemporary Examples of grievously

Historical Examples of grievously

  • Grievously disordered they appear to be, as Hannah tells me.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But just then my childish pride was grievously piqued by Philip's criticism.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • You shall subdue the society which has grievously wronged you, to your own high spirit.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • "I love Laurent as a brother," said she grievously, when her aunt had ceased speaking.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • What expectations I had formed, and how grievously was I disappointed!



British Dictionary definitions for grievously



very severe or painfula grievous injury
very serious; heinousa grievous sin
showing or marked by griefa grievous cry
causing great pain or sufferinga grievous attack
Derived Formsgrievously, adverbgrievousness, 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

Word Origin and History for grievously

mid-14c., from grievous + -ly (2).



c.1300, from Anglo-French grevous (Old French grevos) "heavy, hard, toilsome," from grief (see grief). Legal term grievous bodily harm attested from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper