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fem. proper name, from Italian, from German Grishilda, from Old High German grisja hilda, literally "gray battle-maid." The English form, Grisilde, provided Chaucer's Grizel, the name of the meek, patient wife in the Clerk's Tale, the story and the name both from Boccaccio.
character of romance in medieval and Renaissance Europe, noted for her enduring patience and wifely obedience. She was the heroine of the last tale in the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, who derived the story from a French source. Petrarch translated Boccaccio's Italian version into Latin in De Obidentia ac fide uxoria mythologia, upon which Geoffrey Chaucer based his English version found in "The Clerk's Tale" of the Canterbury Tales. The English playwright Thomas Dekker collaborated on another version, Patient Grissil (1603).