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verb (used without object)
  1. to be sulky or morose; show discontent; complain, especially in an irritable way.
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  1. a sulky, complaining, or morose person.
  2. a sulky, irritable, or morose mood.
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Origin of grouch

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

Synonyms for grouch

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2. grumbler, spoilsport, crab, killjoy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for grouch

malcontent, sorehead, bear, grump, crank, kicker, crab, sourpuss, bug, growler, curmudgeon, whiner, crosspatch, faultfinder, moan, bellyache, grouse, gripe, carp, grumble

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)
  1. to complain; grumble
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  1. a complaint, esp a persistent one
  2. a person who is always grumbling
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper