adjective, griz·zli·er, griz·zli·est.

somewhat gray; grayish.
having hair that is gray; gray-haired.

noun, plural griz·zlies.

a device for screening ore, consisting of a row of iron or steel bars.

Origin of grizzly

First recorded in 1585–95; grizzle1 + -y1
Can be confusedgrisly gristly grizzled grizzly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for grizzly

gray, leaden

Examples from the Web for grizzly

Contemporary Examples of grizzly

Historical Examples of grizzly

  • The Grizzly was surprised; but he replied with a left-hander that knocked her over like a sack of hay.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

  • But of all these numerous occasions the most ignominious was shortly after the affair with the Grizzly.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

  • Why the Grizzly did not break her in two I could not understand.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

  • It is the position of the grizzly, hopeless for the weaker man.

    Dwellers in the Hills

    Melville Davisson Post

  • He struggled frantically, but felt like a puppy-dog in the paws of a grizzly.

British Dictionary definitions for grizzly


adjective -zlier or -zliest

somewhat grey; grizzled

noun plural -zlies


Grizzly is sometimes wrongly used where grisly is meant: a grisly (not grizzly) murder
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 grizzly

1590s, from grizzle "gray" (see grizzled) + -y (2). Grizzly bear (ursus horribilis) is first recorded 1807 but belongs rather to grisly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper