Definition of grim in English:



  • 1Forbidding or uninviting.

    ‘his grim expression’
    ‘long rows of grim, dark housing developments’
    • ‘Half an hour later, the men came home - trying not to look grim and worried.’
    • ‘In a brief, grim speech to the nation late on Saturday, the president did not say if he accepted their resignations.’
    • ‘The headmaster and priest was there, a grim expression on his face.’
    • ‘"There's been a problem, " Gary explained, his expression grim.’
    • ‘Dr. Ashton emerges, a grim expression on his face.’
    • ‘Lowering the hand holding his cordless phone, Charles walks up to Tyler, a grim expression on his handsome face.’
    • ‘His entire demeanor had changed, becoming hardened and grim, determination coupled with a strength that carried him past exhaustion.’
    • ‘This time, none of them were laughing; they looked grim and serious.’
    • ‘I looked up to see Meredith, her expression grim, staring down at me.’
    • ‘But she could see everyone else paying close attention, their expressions slowly becoming more serious and grim.’
    • ‘Andrew entered through a side door to the observation room and stood beside the Doctor, face grim with worry.’
    • ‘Lari's expression turned grim, ‘There is no way to get out of here.’’
    • ‘Then he'd walked away, looking so grim she'd known something was horribly wrong.’
    • ‘She looked up to see his grim expression and immediately sobered.’
    • ‘Charlie's voice was grim, and there was little humour in her joke.’
    • ‘Ross watches Alex's long, lean face fall into an expression of grim frustration, and for a moment he feels sorry for him.’
    • ‘The statement came shortly after staff at the five-year-old firm, which employs 11,000, arrived for work looking grim as they awaited news.’
    • ‘Edward is cheerful, albeit in a rather dark way, while Cara is grim and determined.’
    • ‘Nick's broad face is now very grim.’
    • ‘The young man nodded, his expression frozen in grim acceptance.’
    stern, forbidding, uninviting, unapproachable, aloof, distant
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    1. 1.1(of humor) lacking genuine levity; mirthless; black.
      ‘some moments of grim humor’
      • ‘Although it took 13 reconstructive surgeries in six years to put her back together, Bray cultivated a certain grim sense of humor about her injuries.’
      • ‘Sitting in the shade of the fig trees in Westminster's bustling Portcullis House last week, Ian Cawsey recalled with grim humour the moment when he almost died.’
      • ‘One columnist who manages both to make sense of the situation and to wring some humor, however grim, out of it, is the gifted Diana West.’
      • ‘Most of us use grim humour to cope with life's dark side.’
      • ‘But somehow, that sort of irreverent, grim humor doesn't seem appropriate.’
      black, dark, mirthless, bleak, cynical, fatalistic
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    2. 1.2Depressing or worrying to consider.
      ‘the grim news of the murder’
      • ‘The war was a grim reminder of the inhumanity of man to man.’
      • ‘With these grim figures to consider, it is expected that Carlow would be one of the first test centres in the country to benefit from any forthcoming additional resources.’
      • ‘This means the prognosis is probably not as grim as conventional wisdom would have us believe.’
      • ‘And like most contemporary science fiction it offers a fairly grim view of the future.’
      • ‘Those are just some of the grim realities that illustrate the sorry state of education in black America.’
      • ‘But thankfully things are not as grim as they seem.’
      • ‘Even when climate change is removed from the frame the picture remains grim.’
      • ‘Such grim and gloomy comparisons between today's economic slowdown and those of yesteryear are common.’
      • ‘The alternative - settling for economic, cultural and demographic stagnation - is too grim to consider.’
      • ‘This could be grim news for millions of consumers whose life savings are invested in pensions, endowments and other savings contracts.’
      • ‘But once they leave school, the outlook for many school dropouts remains grim.’
      • ‘At first sight, the table makes for rather grim reading.’
      • ‘However, Health Protection Agency Figures dating back to 1995 paint a far more grim picture.’
      • ‘The 1,500-strong work force at the Gipsy Lane plant were given the grim news yesterday.’
      • ‘If this all sounds unrelentingly grim I promise you it isn't.’
      • ‘Some of the children will also be dressed in a black T-shirts as grim reminder of the drivers, passengers and pedestrians who died.’
      • ‘Back in the summer, the prospects for Everton's season were looking pretty grim.’
      • ‘The disease carries a grim prognosis - only 14 percent of patients survive 5 years.’
      • ‘His choice of language was a bit doom-laden, but his take on the current oil situation appears to justify his pretty grim view of what's in store.’
      • ‘The employment outlook is grim for front-end staff with basic web design and development qualifications.’
      • ‘The grim discovery of the body was made by a farmer yesterday morning.’
      dreadful, dire, ghastly, horrible, horrendous, horrid, terrible, awful, appalling, frightful, shocking, unspeakable, atrocious, harrowing
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    3. 1.3Unrelentingly harsh; merciless or severe.
      ‘few creatures are able to thrive in this grim and hostile land’
      • ‘Arizona is one of the three poorest states in the US and Flagstaff reflects that grim economic reality.’
      • ‘If you want to shape up, but running and rock climbing leave you cold, maybe it's time to consider something less grim and solitary.’
      • ‘The climate of Kolyma is extreme, even compared to the grim background of eastern Siberia.’
      • ‘The lives of agricultural and urban workers would have been just as grim.’
      • ‘Others are angry but matter-of-fact about a lifestyle that seems unbearably grim to the outsider.’
      • ‘There are moments that will break your heart with their grim, bleak realism.’
      • ‘My goal was to record the grim daily lives of a people who had endured a half century of warfare.’
      • ‘Rural life is shown as harsh and grim where the ablest and younger peasants sought to escape to the factories in the cities.’
      • ‘These tenant farmers often lived grim and bleak existences.’
      • ‘For many it was the hope of escaping the misery of their grim working lives that led them to sign up.’
      merciless, cruel, ruthless, pitiless, savage, vicious, brutal, harsh, severe
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Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch grim and German grimm.