a wrong considered as grounds for complaint, or something believed to cause distress: Inequitable taxation is the chief grievance.
a complaint or resentment, as against an unjust or unfair act: to have a grievance against someone.

1250–1300; Middle English greva(u)nce < Old French grevance. See grieve, -ance

pregrievance, noun

1. affront, injustice, hurt, injury, distress. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
grievance (ˈɡriːvəns)
1.  a real or imaginary wrong causing resentment and regarded as grounds for complaint
2.  a feeling of resentment or injustice at having been unfairly treated
3.  obsolete affliction or hardship
[C15 grevance, from Old French, from grever to grieve1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "state of being aggrieved," from O.Fr. grevance, from grever "to harm" (see grieve). In reference to a cause of such a condition, from late 15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see air one's grievances.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The dean accepted the grievance.
Judge Walker likened the newest allegations to a “general
  grievance” from the public.
But a grievance letter is not going to help you.
Remove one perceived source of grievance, and there are still many others
  willing to pursue their grievances with violent means.
Idioms & Phrases
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