Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[grim] /grɪm/
adjective, grimmer, grimmest.
stern and admitting of no appeasement or compromise:
grim determination; grim necessity.
of a sinister or ghastly character; repellent:
a grim joke.
having a harsh, surly, forbidding, or morbid air:
a grim man but a just one; a grim countenance.
fierce, savage, or cruel:
War is a grim business.
Origin of grim
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German grimm, Old Norse grimmr
Related forms
grimly, adverb
grimness, noun
1. harsh, unyielding. 2. frightful, horrible, dire, appalling, horrid, grisly, gruesome, hideous, dreadful. 3. severe, stern, hard. 4. ferocious, ruthless.
1. lenient. 2. attractive. 3. gentle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for grimmest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "That's true," said the old lady, with the smile that was the grimmest thing about her.

  • Sister Gaillarde patted me on the shoulder with her grimmest smile.

    In Convent Walls Emily Sarah Holt
  • And somewhere lost in the maze of his thoughts was the grimmest, bleakest reality of them all: Lucy was dead.

    Voyage To Eternity Milton Lesser
  • Dick believed that Grant must have laughed one of his grimmest laughs.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • The grimmest of Reapers found the most uncomfortable chair in the room, sat, and began reading.

    Telempathy Vance Simonds
  • That night, winter, in its grimmest sense, settled upon Quinton.

    Janet of the Dunes Harriet T. Comstock
  • But the grimmest humor of all was that he blithely imagined himself capable of satisfying the whims, not of one woman, but of two.

    The Missourian Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
  • "You're a likely youngster, you ere," he said, looking down at him with the grimmest of smiles.

    Sue, A Little Heroine L. T. Meade
British Dictionary definitions for grimmest


adjective grimmer, grimmest
stern; resolute: grim determination
harsh or formidable in manner or appearance
harshly ironic or sinister: grim laughter
cruel, severe, or ghastly: a grim accident
(archaic or poetic) fierce: a grim warrior
(informal) unpleasant; disagreeable
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for grimmest



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.).


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for grimmest

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for grimmest