follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

gruesome

[groo-suh m] /ˈgru səm/
adjective
1.
causing great horror; horribly repugnant; grisly:
the site of a gruesome murder.
2.
full of or causing problems; distressing:
a gruesome day at the office.
Also, grewsome.
Origin
1560-1570
1560-70; obsolete grue to shudder (cognate with German grauen, Dutch gruwen) + -some1
Related forms
gruesomely, adverb
gruesomeness, noun
ungruesome, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for gruesome
  • The injury was one of the most gruesome in recent memory.
  • It is a gripping story from beginning to gruesome end, filled with drama, intrigue and love affairs.
  • That gory swamp is a gruesome grove.
  • Yet in between gruesome scenes lie passages of calm, reflective beauty: Wrath and love burn only like the campfires.
  • The images are gruesome, yet grainy and amateurish.
  • Avoiding gruesome odors is a first line of defense against phantosmia.
  • It was a gruesome experience.
  • The scenes of carnage were particularly gruesome.
  • But it doesn't make this any less gruesome of course.
  • When you encounter folks who are so poverty-stricken, it's a gruesome option for them but it is an option.
British Dictionary definitions for gruesome

gruesome

/ˈɡruːsəm/
adjective
1.
inspiring repugnance and horror; ghastly
Derived Forms
gruesomely, adverb
gruesomeness, noun
Word Origin
C16: originally Northern English and Scottish; see grue, -some1
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gruesome
gruesome
1570, from M.E. gruen "feel horror, shudder" (c.1300), possibly from M.Du. gruwen or M.L.G. gruwen "shudder with fear" (cf. Ger. grausam "cruel"), or from a Scand. source (cf. Dan. grusom "cruel," grue "to dread," though others hold that these are Low Ger. loan-words). One of the many Scottish words popularized in England by Scott's novels.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for gruesome

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for gruesome

11
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with gruesome