Word Origin & History
1125, from Anglo-Fr. graunt, from O.Fr. grant, grand, from L. grandis "big, great," also "full-grown" (cognate with Gk. brenthueothai "to swagger"). It supplanted magnus in Romance languages; in Eng. with a special sense of "imposing." The connotations of "moral greatness, sublimity," etc., were in Latin.
As a general term of admiration, 1816. The noun meaning "thousand dollars" is first recorded in Amer.Eng. underworld slang, 1915, from the adj. The Grand Canyon was so called 1871 by Maj. John Wesley Powell, scientific adventurer, who explored it; earlier it had been known as Big Canyon.