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See more synonyms for grievous on Thesaurus.com
  1. causing grief or great sorrow: grievous news.
  2. flagrant; outrageous; atrocious: a grievous offense against morality.
  3. full of or expressing grief; sorrowful: a grievous cry.
  4. burdensome or oppressive.
  5. causing great pain or suffering: arrested for causing grievous bodily harm to someone in a bar.
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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


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for grievousness

Historical Examples

  • We all know the extent and the grievousness of the calamity it has wrought on the universe.

    England, Canada and the Great War

    Louis-Georges Desjardins

  • Then I say I trust thee shall be free from grievousness all thy life if I can keep thee so.

  • He arose; he confessed the grievousness of his sin, entreating pardon before the Throne of Omnipotence.

    Ten Tudor Statesmen

    Arthur D. Innes

  • It is a picture of the grievousness of war, which was now upon the world, flowing down even those distant, desert roads.

  • Master Tom admitted the grievousness of his fault and returned at once to the drift cavern after the forgotten provision pack.

    The Big Brother

    George Cary Eggleston

British Dictionary definitions for grievousness


  1. very severe or painfula grievous injury
  2. very serious; heinousa grievous sin
  3. showing or marked by griefa grievous cry
  4. causing great pain or sufferinga grievous attack
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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 grievousness


c.1300, from grievous + -ness.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper