[ gruhm-buhl ]
See synonyms for: grumblegrumbledgrumblinggrumbler on

verb (used without object),grum·bled, grum·bling.
  1. to murmur or mutter in discontent; complain sullenly: Tim always found something to grumble about.

  2. to utter low, indistinct sounds; growl: Suddenly I heard my stomach grumble, and realized I hadn't had any lunch.

  1. to rumble: The thunder grumbled in the west.

verb (used with object),grum·bled, grum·bling.
  1. to express or utter with murmuring or complaining.

  1. an expression of discontent; complaint; unhappy murmur; growl.

  2. grumbles, a grumbling, discontented mood.

  1. a rumble.

Origin of grumble

First recorded in 1580–90; perhaps frequentative of Old English grymman “to wail”; compare Dutch grommelen, German grummeln, French grommeler (from Germanic )

synonym study For grumble

1. See complain.

Other words from grumble

  • grumbler, noun
  • grum·bling·ly, adverb
  • grumbly, adjective
  • un·grum·bling, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use grumble in a sentence

  • He bitterly opposed the idea of an assault, and he grumbled at being kept before the position.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • As there are only three sets of head phones,” 50 grumbled Burd, “one of us is bound to be a step-child.

  • "We'll be blamed lucky if we don't run into a prairie-fire before mornin'," Piegan grumbled.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • "A newspaper would be something to while away one's time, or a book," grumbled Hartledon.

    Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Jacob Worse had nothing to say in answer to this speech, he only grumbled, and rubbed his hands across his stomach.

    Skipper Worse | Alexander Lange Kielland

British Dictionary definitions for grumble


/ (ˈɡrʌmbəl) /

  1. to utter (complaints) in a nagging or discontented way

  2. (intr) to make low dull rumbling sounds

  1. a complaint; grouse

  2. a low rumbling sound

Origin of grumble

C16: from Middle Low German grommelen, of Germanic origin; see grim

Derived forms of grumble

  • grumbler, noun
  • grumblingly, adverb
  • grumbly, adjective

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