[ groo-uh l ]
/ ˈgru əl /


a light, usually thin, cooked cereal made by boiling meal, especially oatmeal, in water or milk.


Origin of gruel

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French, Old French, equivalent to gru- (< Germanic; see grout) + -el diminutive suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gruel

British Dictionary definitions for gruel


/ (ˈɡruːəl) /


a drink or thin porridge, made by boiling meal, esp oatmeal, in water or milk

Word Origin for gruel

C14: from Old French, of Germanic origin; see grout
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 gruel



late 12c., "meal or flour made of beans, lentils, etc.," from Old French gruel "fine meal," from Frankish *grut (cf. Middle Dutch grute "coarse meal, malt;" Middle High German gruz "grain"), from PIE *ghreu- "to rub, grind" (see grit). Meaning "thin porridge or soup" is late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper