verb (used without object)

to be sulky or morose; show discontent; complain, especially in an irritable way.


a sulky, complaining, or morose person.
a sulky, irritable, or morose mood.

Origin of grouch

1890–95, Americanism; variant of obsolete grutch < Old French groucher to grumble. See grudge

Synonyms for grouch

2. grumbler, spoilsport, crab, killjoy. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grouch

Contemporary Examples of grouch

Historical Examples of grouch

  • Say, for the love of Pete, I couldn't tell what it was gave me a grouch.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • "Lumpy's got on the grouch that won't come off," grinned Big-foot.

  • You have—er—impressed me as a boy with, to use a vulgar expression, a grouch.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • It's the real thing, too, and no flossy bluff about the lady's grouch.


    Sewell Ford

  • "Everybody has a grouch," observed Sarah cheerfully when they sat down to dinner.


    Josephine Lawrence

British Dictionary definitions for grouch


verb (intr)

to complain; grumble


a complaint, esp a persistent one
a person who is always grumbling

Word Origin for grouch

C20: from obsolete grutch, from Old French grouchier to complain; see grudge
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 grouch

"ill-tempered person," 1896, earlier "state of irritable glumness" (1890, in expressions such as to have a grouch on), U.S. college student slang, of uncertain origin, possibly from grutching "complaint, grumbling" (see grutch).

The Grouch, on the other Hand, gave a correct Imitation of a Bear with a Sore Toe. His Conversation was largely made up of Grunts. He carried a Facial Expression that frightened little Children in Street Cars and took all the Starch out of sentimental Young Ladies. He seemed perpetually to carry the Hoof-Marks of a horrible Nightmare. [George Ade, "People You Know," 1902]

The verb is 1916, from the noun. Related: Grouched; grouching. Grouch bag "purse for carrying hidden money" (1908) is the source of the nickname of U.S. comedian Julius "Groucho" Marx (1890-1977), who supposedly carried his money in one to poker games.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper