View synonyms for grim


[ grim ]


, grim·mer, grim·mest.
  1. stern and admitting of no appeasement or compromise:

    grim determination; grim necessity.

    Synonyms: unyielding, harsh

    Antonyms: lenient

  2. of a sinister or ghastly character:

    a grim joke.

    Synonyms: dreadful, hideous, gruesome, grisly, horrid, appalling, dire, horrible, frightful

    Antonyms: attractive

  3. having a harsh, surly, forbidding, or morbid air:

    a grim man but a just one; a grim countenance.

    Synonyms: hard, stern, severe

    Antonyms: gentle

  4. fierce, savage, or cruel:

    War is a grim business.

    Synonyms: ruthless, ferocious

  5. unpleasant or repellant:

    Scrubbing toilets is a grim task that no one likes doing.


/ ɡrɪm /


  1. stern; resolute

    grim determination

  2. harsh or formidable in manner or appearance
  3. harshly ironic or sinister

    grim laughter

  4. cruel, severe, or ghastly

    a grim accident

  5. archaic.

    a grim warrior

  6. informal.
    unpleasant; disagreeable
  7. hold on like grim death
    hold on like grim death to hold very firmly or resolutely

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Derived Forms

  • ˈgrimness, noun
  • ˈgrimly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • grim·ly adverb
  • grim·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of grim1

First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German grimm, Old Norse grimmr

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Word History and Origins

Origin of grim1

Old English grimm; related to Old Norse grimmr, Old High German grimm savage, Greek khremizein to neigh

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Example Sentences

The Council is also set to hear from city staff Tuesday on the grim five-year outlook for funding all the necessary improvements to the city’s roads, streets, drains, pipes and all the rest.

It’s because of surfing that I still know how to smile when things are otherwise grim.

Regulators increasingly viewed Amazon as a threat to competition, and the company’s own workers at times told grim tales about their mistreatment, as they sought to carry out Bezos’s mission to create a consumer-first “everything store.”

He warned it will be a months-long and difficult process to distribute vaccines, and characterized himself as a “straight shooter” for offering that grim timeline.

If one can summon any optimism nearly a year into a grim and persistent pandemic, this is the moment to do it.

From Vox

These were conversations that took a fairly grim twist pretty quickly.

The grim instability of shelter life is hardly a recipe for success under the best of circumstances.

But if the goal is to maintain any hope—grim as it is— for serious negotiations leading to a two state solution.

Alan Gross was in a cheery mood, having survived a grim five-year stint in a Cuban prison.

The worst may be over for many of the refugees, but their first look at life in Europe is pretty grim.

But Ulm was only the commencement of the campaign, and even after Austerlitz Napoleon pursued the enemy with grim resolution.

War turns them from making the glittering superfluities of peace to making its grim engines of destruction.

As he read, a look of surprise came over his face, and then his countenance grew stern and grim.

Taking his stand at the end of the desk, he made MacRae reiterate in detail the grim happenings of that night.

By every art known to the wily Porter did he try to mislead his pursuers; but they hung on to his trail like grim death.


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