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grisly1

[griz-lee] /ˈgrɪz li/
adjective, grislier, grisliest.
1.
causing a shudder or feeling of horror; horrible; gruesome:
a grisly murder.
2.
formidable; grim:
a grisly countenance.
Origin of grisly1
1150
before 1150; Middle English; Old English grislīc horrible; cognate with Old High German grīsenlīh
Related forms
grisliness, noun
Can be confused
grisly, gristly, grizzled, grizzly.

grisly2

[gris-lee] /ˈgrɪs li/
adjective, grislier, grisliest. Obsolete
1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for grisly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Only a dancer of Zamboula could have lived in that grisly square.

    Shadows in Zamboula Robert E. Howard
  • Swift on her part she paid him back with grisly grasp, and grappled with him.

    Beowulf Anonymous
  • It was not much to do, except for a certain 17th Century verbiage and grisly humor.

    The Dead Men's Song Champion Ingraham Hitchcock
  • If he should slip there would be an end of it, for the grisly was close up now.

    Two Arrows William O. Stoddard
  • These are painted in language that makes the grisly creatures live before you.

British Dictionary definitions for grisly

grisly1

/ˈɡrɪzlɪ/
adjective -lier, -liest
1.
causing horror or dread; gruesome
Derived Forms
grisliness, noun
Word Origin
Old English grislic; related to Old Frisian grislik, Old High German grīsenlīh

grisly2

/ˈɡrɪzlɪ/
noun (pl) -lies
1.
(obsolete) a variant spelling of grizzly
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 grisly
adj.

Old English grislic "horrible, dreadful," from root of grisan "to shudder, fear" (cf. Old Frisian grislik "horrible," Middle Dutch grisen "to shudder," Dutch griezelen, German grausen "to shudder, fear," Old High German grisenlik "horrible"), of unknown origin; Watkins connects it with the PIE root *ghrei- "to rub," on notion of "to grate on the mind." Cf. also gruesome, to which it probably is connected in some way.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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