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[grahym] /graɪm/
dirt, soot, or other filthy matter, especially adhering to or embedded in a surface.
a style of music influenced by rap, ragga, etc., and characterized by lyrics and imagery that reference the dark side of urban life.
verb (used with object), grimed, griming.
to cover with dirt; make very dirty; soil.
Origin of grime
dialectal Dutch
1250-1300; Middle English grim; apparently special use of Old English grīma ‘mask’, to denote layer of dust; compare dialectal Dutch grijm
Related forms
ungrimed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for grime
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She knelt, and began to wash the grime from his face, to cleanse the wound on his head, and readjust the bandage.

    The Heart of Thunder Mountain Edfrid A. Bingham
  • For the soot and grime become them, and London as well, for that matter.

    Outdoor Sketching Francis Hopkinson Smith
  • At a distance he passed muster fairly well, what with the grime and the particular stamp of that campaign on our faces.

    Tales Of Hearsay Joseph Conrad
  • With the grime and dirt off his face he was pale and haggard.

    Tales of the Malayan Coast Rounsevelle Wildman
  • Big Ben's lined face went swiftly gray through its coat of grime, but the firm hand did its instant work with the throttle.

    To The Front Charles King
  • One of the stable-boys was brushing off the grime from his sailor suit.

British Dictionary definitions for grime


dirt, soot, or filth, esp when thickly accumulated or ingrained
a genre of music originating in the East End of London and combining elements of garage, hip-hop, rap, and jungle
(transitive) to make dirty or coat with filth
Derived Forms
grimy, adjective
griminess, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Dutch grime; compare Flemish grijm, Old English grīma mask
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 grime

1580s, of uncertain origin, probably alteration of Middle English grim "dirt, filth" (early 14c.), from Middle Low German greme "dirt," from Proto-Germanic *grim- "to smear" (cf. Flemish grijm, Middle Dutch grime "soot, mask"), from PIE root *ghrei- "to rub." The verb was Middle English grymen (mid-15c.) but was replaced early 16c. by begrime.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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