Definition of grief in English:

grief

noun

mass noun
  • 1Intense sorrow, especially caused by someone's death.

    ‘she was overcome with grief’
    • ‘Grief over a traumatic death does not follow an accepted timeline.’
    • ‘Neither Chris nor Mom would want us to let our grief consume our lives.’
    • ‘She was well known and respected in the area and her death has caused much grief and sorrow.’
    • ‘Sarah wrote her book on coping with grief after the death of her daughter.’
    • ‘The chaotic circumstances of burial often compounded a family's grief.’
    • ‘Wearing dark glasses, she had to be helped into a car as she was overcome by grief.’
    • ‘Women and their partners may experience intense grief as they mourn their loss.’
    • ‘It is important to seek professional help when you feel overwhelmed by your grief or memories.’
    • ‘They express grief at the death of Jesus and perhaps also at the death of the hopes that they had had in him.’
    • ‘The untimely death of Mr Woodhouse caused her immense grief and distress.’
    • ‘Support from others can be a reminder that grief is a universal experience and that you are not alone.’
    • ‘Words could not describe the grief felt by the small but united community of Nurney.’
    • ‘People's grief, and other reactions to emotional trauma, are as individual as a fingerprint.’
    • ‘If you have lost someone or have been struggling with grief check out the fact sheets below.’
    • ‘A devastated couple have told the Advertiser of their grief following the death of their baby son.’
    • ‘More difficult to handle than the immediate grief is the permanence of loss that sets in later.’
    • ‘But the loving bonds we share with pets are real, and so are the feelings of loss and grief when they die.’
    • ‘He nurses the old man lovingly and is filled with grief at his death.’
    • ‘Her death caused intense grief in the parish.’
    • ‘Mr Lewis had owned a second-hand shop in Victoria Road, but in his grief after Terry's death he turned to drink.’
    sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, heartache, heartbreak, broken-heartedness, heaviness of heart, woe, desolation, despondency, dejection, despair, angst, mortification
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    1. 1.1count noun An instance or cause of intense sorrow.
      ‘time heals griefs and quarrels’
      • ‘The griefs, the sorrows, the disappointments, the struggles, moments of joy and happiness, I wouldn't regret a single one.’
      • ‘The invisible causes were old griefs and fears and other conditions unknown to me.’
      • ‘That is why well-fed artists of pencil and pen find in the griefs of the common people their most striking models.’
      • ‘The death in 1822 of his daughter Allegra, whom he had continually failed to visit, was a great grief to him.’
      • ‘The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.’
      • ‘As the family wait for Peseola to reveal the reason he has called them together, they explore their past, their hopes and griefs, their conflicts and failures until, at the climax, a painful family secret is revealed.’
      • ‘Chief among the griefs that she visits in this and her other novels is the tragedy inherent in the evanescence of all things human.’
      • ‘I suddenly feel that he's perhaps feeling a bigger grief than the rest of us.’
      • ‘It was a particular grief for him to see the army to which he had devoted his life dismembered by partition in 1947.’
      • ‘What we need to do - all of us - is be there, not just at the birth (with or without the camcorder) but all the time, for all the ordinary, unglamorous joys and worries and griefs.’
      • ‘Can we find ways to accept what we do and what happens to us in life's joys and griefs, successes and failures, and even its routines and boredom?’
      • ‘He is a man who speaks reluctantly, at least in public, of disappointment and griefs.’
      • ‘They know each other well, they share their griefs and sorrows.’
      • ‘What private griefs they have, alas, I know not.’
      • ‘Robert Frost insisted that poetry be made up of griefs, not grievances.’
      • ‘The Old Testament itself speaks prophetically of Christ: ‘Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.’’
      • ‘In her superb first novel she gave voice to the griefs and losses of the mother-daughter relationship, placing them in a near-mythic world of flux and darkness.’
      • ‘Much better, indeed the book's most impressive achievement, are the chapters in which Agatha and Paddy are together, trying to negotiate their way jointly through their shared but entirely distinct griefs.’
      • ‘That she knows that this is just the first of many losses that she will face, griefs that she will face, as a mother.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the city's public spaces commemorate a multitude of private absences and griefs.’
  • 2informal Trouble or annoyance.

    ‘we were too tired to cause any grief’
    • ‘It particularly bothers me that they give me even more grief than normal simply if I'm dressed in a tie.’
    • ‘He preys on vulnerable women with money, and has no problem smacking them around if they give him any grief.’
    • ‘We've got a bye this weekend, which means I've got a chance to sort out a back problem that has been giving me a bit of grief in recent matches.’
    • ‘We are having so many problems with kids running down and causing grief to the elderly residents that live here.’
    • ‘I am getting constant grief from them about returning to Pattaya for this event.’
    • ‘My brakes gave me some grief after the second to last stop.’
    • ‘It's hard to resist the premonition that Equitable's problems are far from over and more grief lies ahead.’
    • ‘Somehow, I'm expecting a little grief from the people I work with tomorrow.’
    trouble, annoyance, bother, irritation, vexation, harassment, nuisance
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Phrases

  • come to grief

    • Have an accident; meet with disaster.

      ‘many a ship has come to grief along this shore’
      • ‘Credit experts warned that dozens of families were already coming to grief in the ‘buy now, pay later’ culture.’
      • ‘Anyone not knowing the river would quickly come to grief.’
      • ‘Many ships have come to grief on the Farne Islands, a few miles off the Northumberland coast.’
      • ‘He helped engineer his re-election, before coming to grief in last year's mid-term elections when the increasingly unpopular Republicans lost their grip on Congress.’
      • ‘Little wonder so many road users have come to grief.’
      • ‘Recent two-term presidents have come to grief in their second spell in the White House.’
      • ‘They came to grief after detectives, posing as punters and using hidden cameras to catch the culprits red-handed, set up nine bogus deals with gang members.’
      • ‘But many sailing ships came to grief in the stormy waters and ended their days in the Falklands.’
      • ‘Instead of climbers, it was the new breed of fellwalkers who were coming to grief on the hills, getting lost, breaking limbs and falling victim to hypothermia and heart attacks.’
      • ‘Some car or truck has already come to grief at the roundabout and the trace of that accident is still clearly visible.’
      fail, meet with failure, meet with disaster, miscarry, go wrong, go awry, fall through, fall flat, be frustrated, break down, collapse, founder, fold, come to nothing, come to naught
      View synonyms
  • give someone grief

    • informal Criticize or make trouble for someone.

      ‘he gave me grief about typos’
      • ‘The project manager gave me grief over the fact that my designs were "too detailed".’
      • ‘No one can give them grief for selling out because they haven't changed an item of their manifesto in seven years.’
      • ‘He wants some fun money to splurge with his kid at a ball game or buy a scooter without his wife giving him grief over spending too much.’
      • ‘This Mum has just told her daughter that she can rely on her for support regardless of what happens in the future and the father is giving her grief over it!’
      • ‘The EU has given his department grief for not implementing measures, particularly in relation to water quality.’
  • good grief!

    • An exclamation of surprise or alarm.

      ‘good grief, is it that time already?’
      • ‘Good grief, Nat, where on earth have you been? You look like you got dragged through a hedge backwards and then thrown back through it again!’
      • ‘Nina? Good grief! You gave me a scare!’
      • ‘Good grief - the man really must be as high as a kite.’
      • ‘Good grief, I'll have MI5 watching me as a potential cult leader.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French grief, from grever ‘to burden’ (see grieve).

Pronunciation

grief

/ɡriːf/