follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

grunt

[gruhnt] /grʌnt/
verb (used without object)
1.
to utter the deep, guttural sound characteristic of a hog.
2.
to utter a similar sound.
3.
to grumble, as in discontent.
verb (used with object)
4.
to express with a grunt.
noun
5.
a sound of grunting.
6.
New England Cookery. a dessert, typically of cherries, peaches, or apples sweetened and spiced, and topped with biscuit dough.
7.
any food fish of the family Pomadasyidae (Haemulidae), found chiefly in tropical and subtropical seas, that emits grunting sounds.
8.
Slang. a soldier, especially an infantryman.
9.
Slang. a common or unskilled worker; laborer.
Origin of grunt
900
before 900; Middle English grunten, Old English grunnettan, frequentative of grunian to grunt; cognate with German grunzen, Latin grunnīre
Related forms
gruntingly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for grunt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fat boy gave a grunt, but beyond this there was no sign of life about him.

  • The three gave Andy a look and a grunt, but otherwise they paid no attention to him.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • The causeway ran through it, a mere thread lipped by the darkling waves, and at the sight a grunt of relief broke from Badelon.

    Count Hannibal Stanley J. Weyman
  • There was a brief shifting of eyes toward him, and a grunt from Jeff; that was all.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Wild horses fled from us, and we heard the grunt of boar in the fern thickets.

British Dictionary definitions for grunt

grunt

/ɡrʌnt/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (esp of pigs and some other animals) to emit a low short gruff noise
2.
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to express something gruffly: he grunted his answer
noun
3.
the characteristic low short gruff noise of pigs, etc, or a similar sound, as of disgust
4.
any of various mainly tropical marine sciaenid fishes, such as Haemulon macrostomum (Spanish grunt), that utter a grunting sound when caught
5.
(US, slang) an infantry soldier or US Marine, esp in the Vietnam War
Derived Forms
gruntingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English grunnettan, probably of imitative origin; compare Old High German grunnizōn, grunni moaning, Latin grunnīre
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 grunt
v.

Old English grunnettan "to grunt," frequentative of grunian "to grunt," probably imitative (cf. Danish grynte, Old High German grunnizon, German grunzen "to grunt," Latin grunnire "to grunt"). Related: Grunted; grunting.

n.

1550s, from grunt (v.); as a type of fish, from 1713; meaning "infantry soldier" emerged in U.S. military slang during Vietnam War (first recorded in print 1969); used since 1900 of various low-level workers. Grunt work first recorded 1977.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for grunt

grunt

noun

  1. A line repairer's helper who works on the ground and does not climb poles (1900+ Line repairers)
  2. A locomotive engineer; hogger (1940s+ Railroad)
  3. An infantry soldier: I was drafted and served twelve months as a grunt in Vietnam/ Now there's a willingness to tell the story of the poor grunt who got his tail shot off (Vietnam War armed forces)
  4. Any low-ranking person, neophyte, etc: The attitude among the reporter grunts was pretty much ''them against us'' (late 1960s+)
  5. A bill for food or drink: I just hope Toots didn't bring along any of the grunts I must have left in that oasis (1940s+)
  6. A diligent student; grind: A grunt is a student who gives a shit about nothing except his sheepskin (1980s+)

Related Terms

cluck and grunt

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for grunt

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for grunt

6
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for grunt