adjective, grim·mer, grim·mest.

stern and admitting of no appeasement or compromise: grim determination; grim necessity.
of a sinister or ghastly character; repellent: a grim joke.
having a harsh, surly, forbidding, or morbid air: a grim man but a just one; a grim countenance.
fierce, savage, or cruel: War is a grim business.

Nearby words

  1. grillparzer, franz,
  2. grillroom,
  3. grillwork,
  4. grillé,
  5. grilse,
  6. grim dig,
  7. grim reaper,
  8. grimace,
  9. grimaldi,
  10. grimaldi man

Origin of grim

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

Related formsgrim·ly, adverbgrim·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grim

British Dictionary definitions for grim


adjective grimmer or grimmest

stern; resolutegrim determination
harsh or formidable in manner or appearance
harshly ironic or sinistergrim laughter
cruel, severe, or ghastlya grim accident
archaic, or poetic fiercea grim warrior
informal unpleasant; disagreeable
hold on like grim death to hold very firmly or resolutely
Derived Formsgrimly, adverbgrimness, noun

Word Origin for grim

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

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 grim
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper