grim

[grim]
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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.

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

Synonyms for grim

Antonyms for grim

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for grim

Contemporary Examples of grim

Historical Examples of grim

  • It was composed of the grim psychological laws that govern the abnormal.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • Andrew peered into the grim face of the older man; there was not a flicker of a smile in it.

  • This dart which I hold in my hand was once grim Death's own weapon.

  • Grim, dour, silent, it waited for the beginning of hostilities.

  • His was a commanding physique, hard as the grim plains from which he wrested his living.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius


British Dictionary definitions for grim

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
adj.

Old English grimm "fierce, cruel, savage, dire, painful," from Proto-Germanic *grimmaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German, German grimm, Old Norse grimmr, Swedish grym "fierce, furious"), from PIE *ghrem- "angry," perhaps imitative of the sound of rumbling thunder (cf. Greek khremizein "to neigh," Old Church Slavonic vuzgrimeti "to thunder," Russian gremet' "thunder").

A weaker word now than once it was; sense of "dreary, gloomy" first recorded late 12c. It also had a verb form in Old English, grimman (class III strong verb; past tense gramm, p.p. grummen). Old English also had a noun, grima "goblin, specter," perhaps also a proper name or attribute-name of a god, hence its appearance as an element in place names.

Grim reaper as a figurative way to say "death" is attested by 1847 (the association of grim and death goes back at least to 17c.). A Middle English expression for "have recourse to harsh measures" was to wend the grim tooth (early 13c.).

n.

"spectre, bogey, haunting spirit," 1620s, from grim (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper