Definition of grief in English:



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

    ‘she was overcome with grief’
    • ‘Support from others can be a reminder that grief is a universal experience and that you are not alone.’
    • ‘He nurses the old man lovingly and is filled with grief at his death.’
    • ‘People's grief, and other reactions to emotional trauma, are as individual as a fingerprint.’
    • ‘They express grief at the death of Jesus and perhaps also at the death of the hopes that they had had in him.’
    • ‘It is important to seek professional help when you feel overwhelmed by your grief or memories.’
    • ‘A devastated couple have told the Advertiser of their grief following the death of their baby son.’
    • ‘If you have lost someone or have been struggling with grief check out the fact sheets below.’
    • ‘The chaotic circumstances of burial often compounded a family's grief.’
    • ‘But the loving bonds we share with pets are real, and so are the feelings of loss and grief when they die.’
    • ‘Women and their partners may experience intense grief as they mourn their loss.’
    • ‘Mr Lewis had owned a second-hand shop in Victoria Road, but in his grief after Terry's death he turned to drink.’
    • ‘Neither Chris nor Mom would want us to let our grief consume our lives.’
    • ‘Words could not describe the grief felt by the small but united community of Nurney.’
    • ‘Sarah wrote her book on coping with grief after the death of her daughter.’
    • ‘She was well known and respected in the area and her death has caused much grief and sorrow.’
    • ‘Her death caused intense grief in the parish.’
    • ‘The untimely death of Mr Woodhouse caused her immense grief and distress.’
    • ‘Wearing dark glasses, she had to be helped into a car as she was overcome by grief.’
    • ‘More difficult to handle than the immediate grief is the permanence of loss that sets in later.’
    • ‘Grief over a traumatic death does not follow an accepted timeline.’
    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. 1.1[count noun]An instance or cause of intense sorrow.
      ‘time heals griefs and quarrels’
      • ‘The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.’
      • ‘They know each other well, they share their griefs and sorrows.’
      • ‘The invisible causes were old griefs and fears and other conditions unknown to me.’
      • ‘Robert Frost insisted that poetry be made up of griefs, not grievances.’
      • ‘Chief among the griefs that she visits in this and her other novels is the tragedy inherent in the evanescence of all things human.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That she knows that this is just the first of many losses that she will face, griefs that she will face, as a mother.’
      • ‘It was a particular grief for him to see the army to which he had devoted his life dismembered by partition in 1947.’
      • ‘The death in 1822 of his daughter Allegra, whom he had continually failed to visit, was a great grief to him.’
      • ‘What private griefs they have, alas, I know not.’
      • ‘That is why well-fed artists of pencil and pen find in the griefs of the common people their most striking models.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I suddenly feel that he's perhaps feeling a bigger grief than the rest of us.’
      • ‘The griefs, the sorrows, the disappointments, the struggles, moments of joy and happiness, I wouldn't regret a single one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is a man who speaks reluctantly, at least in public, of disappointment and griefs.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the city's public spaces commemorate a multitude of private absences and griefs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Old Testament itself speaks prophetically of Christ: ‘Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.’’
  • 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He preys on vulnerable women with money, and has no problem smacking them around if they give him any grief.’
    • ‘Somehow, I'm expecting a little grief from the people I work with tomorrow.’
    • ‘My brakes gave me some grief after the second to last stop.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's hard to resist the premonition that Equitable's problems are far from over and more grief lies ahead.’
    trouble, annoyance, bother, irritation, vexation, harassment, nuisance
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Middle English: from Old French grief, from grever to burden (see grieve).