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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.
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 grievances
  • The dispute had previously produced a lawsuit by baseball against the umpires and two grievances by the umpires against baseball.
  • Though the grievances are great, the response is characteristically tepid.
  • The global economic downturn kept wages down and increased workers' grievances.
  • But he said grievances can be addressed through education campaigns, and regular auditing has reduced fraud.
  • Many said they are turned away without their grievances heard.
  • The public-sector doctors have settled their grievances.
  • But they are counting ballots which have been corrupted multiple ways, plus ton of grievances from before the election.
  • Mobilization aimed at the ballot box is the way other sectors respond to their grievances.
  • Listen to your student grievances and then continue with business as usual.
  • Soldiers' grainy video footage of ferocious battles, smuggled out of the country, has dramatised their grievances.
British Dictionary definitions for grievances


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 grievances



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 grievances


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