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[gree-vuh ns] /ˈgri vəns/
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.
Origin of grievance
1250-1300; Middle English greva(u)nce < Old French grevance. See grieve, -ance
Related forms
pregrievance, noun
1. affront, injustice, hurt, injury, distress. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for grievance
  • 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.
  • The union hopes the grievance will go to mediation in August.
  • His interests include literary criticism and what he dismisses as “grievance studies”.
  • Indignation or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance.
  • I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.
  • Nasty behavior, but not intense enough to be considered a serious grievance.
  • Still, it is worth addressing real grievances.
British Dictionary definitions for grievance


a real or imaginary wrong causing resentment and regarded as grounds for complaint
a feeling of resentment or injustice at having been unfairly treated
(obsolete) affliction or hardship
Word Origin
C15 grevance, from Old French, from grever to grieve1
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
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Word Origin and History for grievance

c.1300, "state of being aggrieved," from Old French grevance "harm, injury, misfortune, trouble, suffering," from grever "to harm, to burden" (see grieve). In reference to a cause of such a condition, from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with grievance


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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