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.