or grew·some

[groo-suh m]


causing great horror; horribly repugnant; grisly: the site of a gruesome murder.
full of or causing problems; distressing: a gruesome day at the office.

Nearby words

  1. gruel,
  2. grueling,
  3. gruelling,
  4. gruenberg,
  5. gruenberg, louis,
  6. gruesomely,
  7. gruff,
  8. gruffly,
  9. gruffy,
  10. grugru

Origin of gruesome

1560–70; obsolete grue to shudder (cognate with German grauen, Dutch gruwen) + -some1

Related formsgrue·some·ly, adverbgrue·some·ness, nounun·grue·some, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gruesome

British Dictionary definitions for gruesome



inspiring repugnance and horror; ghastly
Derived Formsgruesomely, adverbgruesomeness, noun

Word Origin for gruesome

C16: originally Northern English and Scottish; see grue, -some 1

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 gruesome



1560s, with -some (1) + Middle English gruen "feel horror, shudder" (c.1300); not recorded in Old English or Norse, possibly from Middle Dutch gruwen or Middle Low German gruwen "shudder with fear" (cf. German grausam "cruel"), or from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish grusom "cruel," grue "to dread," though others hold that these are Low German loan-words). One of the many Scottish words popularized in England by Scott's novels.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper