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grim

[grim] /grɪm/
adjective, grimmer, grimmest.
1.
stern and admitting of no appeasement or compromise:
grim determination; grim necessity.
2.
of a sinister or ghastly character; repellent:
a grim joke.
3.
having a harsh, surly, forbidding, or morbid air:
a grim man but a just one; a grim countenance.
4.
fierce, savage, or cruel:
War is a grim business.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German grimm, Old Norse grimmr
Related forms
grimly, adverb
grimness, noun
Synonyms
1. harsh, unyielding. 2. frightful, horrible, dire, appalling, horrid, grisly, gruesome, hideous, dreadful. 3. severe, stern, hard. 4. ferocious, ruthless.
Antonyms
1. lenient. 2. attractive. 3. gentle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for grim
  • The statistics paint a grim picture.
  • Meanwhile, the grim economy is an unlikely source of solace.
  • There are two ways to react to an avalanche of grim news.
  • The grim practice of culling elephants may resume.
  • After a grim and frustrating two years, she is successful.
  • For weeks, mission engineers and scientists had been listing in grim detail everything that could go wrong.
  • Comedy is a grim business, and comedians are an angry, selfish and often unstable lot.
  • War is pretty grim business.
  • Editors say that it's no surprise grim times call for lots of comfort reading.
  • Some are grim and very upset.
British Dictionary definitions for grim

grim

/ɡrɪm/
adjective grimmer, grimmest
1.
stern; resolute: grim determination
2.
harsh or formidable in manner or appearance
3.
harshly ironic or sinister: grim laughter
4.
cruel, severe, or ghastly: a grim accident
5.
(archaic or poetic) fierce: a grim warrior
6.
(informal) unpleasant; disagreeable
7.
hold on like grim death, to hold very firmly or resolutely
Derived Forms
grimly, adverb
grimness, noun
Word Origin
Old English grimm; related to Old Norse grimmr, Old High German grimm savage, Greek khremizein to neigh
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 grim
adj.

Old English grimm "fierce, cruel, savage, dire, painful," from Proto-Germanic *grimmaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German, German grimm, Old Norse grimmr, Swedish grym "fierce, furious"), from PIE *ghrem- "angry," perhaps imitative of the sound of rumbling thunder (cf. Greek khremizein "to neigh," Old Church Slavonic vuzgrimeti "to thunder," Russian gremet' "thunder").

A weaker word now than once it was; sense of "dreary, gloomy" first recorded late 12c. It also had a verb form in Old English, grimman (class III strong verb; past tense gramm, p.p. grummen). Old English also had a noun, grima "goblin, specter," perhaps also a proper name or attribute-name of a god, hence its appearance as an element in place names.

Grim reaper as a figurative way to say "death" is attested by 1847 (the association of grim and death goes back at least to 17c.). A Middle English expression for "have recourse to harsh measures" was to wend the grim tooth (early 13c.).

n.

"spectre, bogey, haunting spirit," 1620s, from grim (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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