verb (used without object), griped, grip·ing.

verb (used with object), griped, grip·ing.


Origin of gripe

1350–1400; Middle English gripen, Old English grīpan; cognate with Dutch grijpen, German griefen; see grip, grope
Related formsgrip·er, noungripe·ful, adjectivegrip·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedgrip gripe grippe

Synonyms for gripe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gripe

Contemporary Examples of gripe

Historical Examples of gripe

  • That same world is a tough wrestler, and has a bear's gripe.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • He struggled furiously, but could not force my gripe from his throat.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • He seized her hands, and, with one gripe of his, made hers fly open.


    Harriet Martineau

  • You haven't heard me gripe about having to go to the store, have you?

    Jerry's Charge Account

    Hazel Hutchins Wilson

  • To gripe the tall town-steeple by the waste,And scoop it out to be his drinking-horn.

British Dictionary definitions for gripe



(intr) informal to complain, esp in a persistent nagging manner
to cause sudden intense pain in the intestines of (a person) or (of a person) to experience this pain
(intr) nautical (of a ship) to tend to come up into the wind in spite of the helm
archaic to clutch; grasp
(tr) archaic to afflict


(usually plural) a sudden intense pain in the intestines; colic
informal a complaint or grievance
  1. the act of gripping
  2. a firm grip
  3. a device that grips
(in plural) nautical the lashings that secure a boat
Derived Formsgriper, noungripingly, adverb

Word Origin for gripe

Old English grīpan; related to Gothic greipan, Old High German grīfan to seize, Lithuanian greibiu
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 gripe

Old English gripan "grasp at, lay hold, attack, take, seek to get hold of," from Proto-Germanic *gripanan (cf. Old Saxon gripan, Old Norse gripa, Dutch grijpen, Gothic greipan, Old High German grifan, German greifen "to seize"), from PIE root *ghreib- "to grip" (cf. Lithuanian griebiu "to seize"). Figurative sense of "complain, grouse" is first attested 1932, probably from earlier meaning "gripping pain in the bowels" (c.1600; cf. bellyache). Related: Griped; griping.


late 14c., from gripe (v.). Figurative sense by 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gripe in Medicine




To have sharp pains in the bowels.


gripes Sharp, spasmodic pains in the bowels.
A firm hold; a grasp.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.