Definition of grit in English:



  • 1Small loose particles of stone or sand.

    ‘she had a bit of grit in her eye’
    • ‘The agreements include all gravel lorries being covered to reduce dust and grit, and a ban on lorry movements when pupils are entering and leaving schools in Cressing Road, Witham.’
    • ‘When it rains heavily all the grit on the roads tends to be washed away.’
    • ‘During the course of your fishing session your line will pick up small bits of grit, sand and algae.’
    • ‘Clean the cockles or clams by soaking them in cold water for at least 30 minutes to remove any sand or grit.’
    • ‘We clung to a wire fence while wind-blown sand stung our faces and we tried to keep grit and dust out of our eyes.’
    • ‘Dust and grit may be especially hazardous to people who wear contact lenses.’
    • ‘Marie said: ‘It seems as if the water has washed away all of the sand and grit beneath the road.’’
    • ‘How many times have you got a small piece of grit in your eye?’
    • ‘Bulbs need to be planted at about twice their depth in soil that has a bit of added grit to stop waterlogging.’
    • ‘Metal parts get attacked by salt and lots and lots of sand and grit.’
    • ‘Use an appropriate scraper to remove all loose paint and grit.’
    • ‘Wash the leeks thoroughly to remove grit, then chop or slice as preferred.’
    • ‘As the cracks widen, sand, grit, and small rocks from the overlying rubble trickle down into the fractures.’
    • ‘He said a van full of sand and grit had to be used to soak up the orange juice which had spilled on to the motorway.’
    • ‘He was very dirty, his entire body seemingly coated with dust and grit.’
    • ‘Wash them well in fresh, clear water to remove any grit or insects.’
    • ‘He swallowed dust and grit and a bit of his back tooth.’
    • ‘He further went on to explain that one of the most common eye injuries results from sand and grit entering the eye whilst playing a bunker shot.’
    • ‘There was a guy who used to carry his bicycle up to the third floor and pick all the bits of grit out of the tyres and chuck them down the stairs.’
    • ‘You may feel like you have sand or grit in your eye, and your eye may look red.’
    gravel, pebbles, stones, shingle, sand, dust, dirt
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[as modifier](with numeral) indicating the grade of fineness of an abrasive.
      ‘400 grit paper’
      • ‘I applied two light layers of primer sanding after each one with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper.’
      • ‘Use a sanding block with 100 to 120 grit sandpaper for smaller areas.’
      • ‘A disk grinder with a 30 grit sanding disk works well for removing rubber.’
      • ‘Sand all corners very lightly with a sanding block and 150 - grit sandpaper.’
      • ‘Using 220 - grit sandpaper, lightly sand all the surfaces of the door and frames.’
    2. 1.2A coarse sandstone.
      [count noun] ‘layers of impervious shales and grits’
      • ‘By now we had reached 1,300 foot and had one last steep slope to climb, for which there's a diagonal sunken path leading up to bilberrys, they indicate acid soil and here that's because of a cap layer of gritstone rock.’
      • ‘Walls will be crafted in Yorkshire gritstone and there will be wildflower meadows, a bridge, lockkeeper's cottage, fisherman, and even dirty water in the stretch of canal.’
      • ‘The geology here is alternating layers of limestone and shale topped with millstone grit.’
      • ‘The warehouse has a flat tar roof which is made up of a grainy limestone grit which is covered by a cohesive material.’
      • ‘They were to be created from local limestone, sandstone and gritstone and each cairn was to feature a spiral design of dry stone walls emanating outwards.’
      • ‘One or two gritstone quarries provide important nesting sites for peregrines and ravens.’
      • ‘The immediate terrain is straightforward - large sheep pastures with gritstone walls.’
      • ‘Our finest gritstone architecture is being devoured by road salt.’
      • ‘Five years ago, he formed a company to buy the complex of gritstone buildings dating from 1790.’
      • ‘Tough layers of sandstone and gritstone cap the hills and moors.’
      • ‘There is a condition restricting the output of gritstone from the Old Hutton quarry each day to 400 tonnes.’
      • ‘The path leads straight to the sombre gritstone memorial on the edge of the moorland spur.’
      • ‘This airy but demanding ridge walk is mainly in Cheshire, following the gritstone ridge with some excellent views.’
      • ‘Work has involved replacing the original limestone steps with gritstone that will be less slippery.’
      • ‘We passed the Flying Dutchman, chugged up the lane out of town and on to a bridleway, a nice route of beech and oak and large mossy boulders of gritstone.’
      • ‘The War Memorial Obelisk stands about 20 foot high on an outcrop of gritstone and is brilliantly situated.’
      • ‘What we didn't expect was to find the thing perched on a weather-sculpted and bus-sized block of gritstone.’
      • ‘Most carved stones are flat-topped outcrops of the local millstone grit.’
      • ‘I skulked down the sunken path out of the village, down past the rough grit walls and rough pastures that are everywhere.’
      • ‘Not all rock is the same, and gritstone is like no other.’
  • 2Courage and resolve; strength of character.

    ‘I've known few men who could match Maude's grit’
    • ‘At a time when economic growth is slowing down and public finances are worsening, this survey illustrates the true grit of the north when it comes to determination to succeed.’
    • ‘He showed true grit as he completed the 4.3-mile run in 55 minutes in spite of suffering from prostate cancer.’
    • ‘It is times like these that show the true grit of a team.’
    • ‘I truly believe that if you can adapt to adversity and develop true grit, you can still succeed.’
    • ‘But Jean showed her true grit and followed the first rule of business which is to learn from your failures.’
    • ‘It would have been no more than they deserved as they showed true grit after the dreadful start and the concession of those two early goals.’
    • ‘I have seldom seen such grit, determination and resoluteness from everyone on a Waterford team.’
    • ‘Despite their desperate position however, the Kildare girls showed their true grit and finished with a flourish.’
    • ‘The crew is rising to every little challenge they are given and conquering them all with true grit and sheer determination.’
    • ‘But our boys showed true grit, managing to force the game into extra time with a well-taken goal from Parkin on 80 minutes.’
    • ‘What Mark has achieved he has done with pure grit and determination, tenacity and hard work.’
    • ‘Showing true grit, he went on to ride the bull for eight seconds and seal the title.’
    • ‘This woman had strength and grit and determination.’
    • ‘Here's a woman who through sheer grit has created a billion dollar empire.’
    • ‘With home games against sides they have the ability to beat and away games against sides they have already beaten, it is now all about true grit and determination.’
    • ‘They displayed a grit and a willingness for the physical side of the game so often missing in the past.’
    • ‘And yet again they displayed grit, guts and determination after falling behind in a mere 21 seconds.’
    • ‘But in a demonstration of the true grit of the fell runner, he managed to carry on.’
    • ‘Our backs were truly against the wall and finally some of the true grit and character that has been lying dormant for too long came flooding through.’
    • ‘These buildings are part of what we are as Yorkshire people, they are visible expressions of our grit, determination and resolve.’
    courage, courageousness, bravery, pluck, mettle, mettlesomeness, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fibre, steel, nerve, gameness, valour, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, determination, resolution
    View synonyms


  • 1[with object] Spread grit and often salt on (an icy road)

    ‘a council gritting lorry’
    • ‘After the crashes, City of York Council insisted it had gritted the road according to its procedures.’
    • ‘The problem was that rain was predicted, so there was no point gritting the roads before then as it would get washed away.’
    • ‘Despite advanced warning of the treacherous weather, it emerged Swindon Council failed to grit the roads.’
    • ‘Now council bosses in York may sell off their responsibilities to grit icy roads and paths in the city to a contractor.’
    • ‘I even saw such a road being gritted on the evening of Christmas Day 2001.’
    • ‘Although the main roads were gritted, many side streets were icy.’
    • ‘He said a new development was residents who volunteered to help grit pavements in the area.’
    • ‘We feel that none of the above would have happened if the council had gritted the roads.’
    • ‘We put all our resources into gritting the roads.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, crews were out in force last night and early today gritting main roads across Greater Manchester.’
    • ‘‘The council operates a priority order for gritting roads and footpaths,’ a spokesman said.’
    • ‘Two weeks ago, when we had snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, I telephoned the council twice to ask if they were going to grit the roads and pavements but there was no reaction.’
    • ‘The Highways Agency, which is responsible for England's motorways and trunk roads, said it would be gritting roads overnight and was aware of forecasted heavy snow for tomorrow.’
    • ‘All the roads were gritted, but the problems began when everyone decided to go home early - causing gridlocks.’
    • ‘They covered 2,800 miles as they gritted main roads and bus routes.’
    • ‘According to Highways Agency guidelines councils are not required to grit every street and road in the borough.’
    • ‘An angry commuter has hit out at Colchester Council for failing to grit a road.’
    • ‘The Highways Agency said that its 100 gritters and ploughs in the north west were out throughout the night and gritted trunk roads and motorways twice.’
    • ‘I am sure Mr Rushworth would agree that keeping main roads and bus routes open is more important than gritting side streets.’
    • ‘Now a council worker gritting the roads has been attacked at Bell Farm.’
  • 2[no object] Grate.

    ‘fine red dust that gritted between the teeth’
    • ‘I did not expect a travel story so real that I could almost feel the dust gritting between my teeth.’
    • ‘Sand gritted in your teeth with every bite of food and rasped the eyeballs each time you blinked your eyes.’
    • ‘At least a third of the desert's sand was in my mouth gritting between my teeth.’


  • grit one's teeth

    • 1Clench one's teeth, especially when faced with something unpleasant.

      ‘grit your teeth and splash yourself with cold water!’
      • ‘All I can say is: grit your teeth, clench your fists, be prepared… for lots of bad stuff.’
      • ‘I was too close to do anything about it so we gritted our teeth and waited for the impact.’
      • ‘But I just grit my teeth and muddle through to the next topic which catches my mind's eye.’
      • ‘Yes, we had to grit our teeth and swallow our pride, but in the end it was a win for everyone.’
      • ‘He gritted his teeth, clenched his jaw, and tried to shut everything around him out.’
      • ‘Just grit your teeth and walk on, that way things are much easier.’
      • ‘My friend, who continued to grit her teeth with every bump, couldn't believe what she was seeing.’
      • ‘It's odd, saying the word ‘rambunctious’ makes her grit her teeth even to this day.’
      • ‘The queue has already reached the back door but we grit our teeth, put on our jackets and join it.’
      • ‘He clenched his fists and gritted his teeth as he strode through the hall of the large hospital.’
      clench, clamp together, press together, shut tightly
      grate, grind, gnash, scrape, rasp
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Resolve to do something difficult or unpleasant.
        ‘Parliament must grit its teeth and take action’
        • ‘It was a huge shock to herself and to her loving family, but the brave and determined 57 year old gritted her teeth and got on with life.’
        • ‘And, we decided to grit our teeth and try to cope with the various problems that arise due to group trips.’
        • ‘Consequently, he says, there were places where he had to grit his teeth and take editorial decisions.’
        • ‘These are the times when we know we must change ‘or else,’ so we grit our teeth and do what we must.’
        • ‘I'm sure nobody believed us, but we stuck with it, gritted our teeth, and refused to contemplate the idea of failure.’
        • ‘So tonight I gritted my teeth, rolled up my sleeves, and washed her.’
        • ‘You just have to grit your teeth and keep going.’
        • ‘Despite the huge losses, Granada have gritted their teeth and stumped up an extra £25m to invest in its programme schedule, on top of £750m already earmarked.’
        • ‘Well, since the editor of the magazine had incurred costs, I felt morally obliged to help him out, so I gritted my teeth and revised the article.’
        • ‘Why on earth should she grit her teeth and become a drudge for an industry she didn't respect?’


Old English grēot ‘sand, gravel’, of Germanic origin; related to German Griess, also to groats.