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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
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. 2014.
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Examples for grunts
  • At the same time, sequence became relevant as language evolved from mere grunts to grammatically complex sentences.
  • The question of when grunts and yelps turned into words and phrases is a tricky one.
  • True, too, their curious grunts allowed them to collaborate in surprisingly sophisticated ways.
  • Traditional armies drill unquestioning obedience into their grunts.
  • It was a good platoon, because the officers had been grunts themselves.
  • Commanders inserted grunts and waited for them to be attacked, using the opportunity to break the enemy over the contact line.
  • The tension ratchets up as perimeter-securing military grunts swoop in.
  • Demand an independent investigation that can find the real culprits, not the scapegoated grunts.
  • There has also been long-standing interest in building exoskeletons that turn normal grunts into super-soldiers.
  • The conversation is animated, but if you could eavesdrop on it, all you'd hear would be occasional grunts and squeals.
British Dictionary definitions for grunts

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
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Word Origin and History for grunts
grunt
O.E. grunnettan, freq. of grunian "to grunt," probably imitative. The noun meaning "infantry" 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
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Slang definitions & phrases for grunts

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.
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Encyclopedia Article for grunts

grunt

any of about 75 species of marine fishes of the families Pomadasyidae and Banjosidae (order Perciformes). Grunts are found along shores in warm and tropical waters of the major oceans. They are snapperlike but with weaker teeth and are named for the piglike grunts they can produce with their pharyngeal (throat) teeth. Some (genus Haemulon) are further characterized by bright, reddish mouth linings. Grunts are edible and valued as food, though most species are small. Some are noted for a behavioral trait in which two individuals approach and "kiss." The purpose of this, whether sexual or aggressive, is not known.

Learn more about grunt with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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7
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