Definition of grisly in English:



  • Causing horror or disgust.

    ‘the town was shaken by a series of grisly crimes’
    • ‘Detectives have been called in after a three-year-old girl made a grisly discovery on the doorstep of her York home.’
    • ‘The grisly work of recovering the bodies floating in the streets and houses of New Orleans has begun.’
    • ‘What strange obsession drives the authors of grisly true-crime books?’
    • ‘The first grisly find was a dead body inside a car.’
    • ‘The story of secrecy, scientific ethics and national security is macabre, grisly and disturbing.’
    • ‘By and large we know the sort of thing to expect, however grisly.’
    • ‘The more garishly grisly the story becomes, the paler its credibility.’
    • ‘Tony also works as a forensic archaeologist for Glasgow police, and has worked on what he described as grisly murder cases.’
    • ‘This structure works well, and a grisly but fascinating story begins to emerge.’
    • ‘This opening scene sets the tone for a grisly, gory and sometimes comic werewolf horror film.’
    • ‘There are several grisly murders involved, but fortunately the emphasis is not on the gore but on the characters.’
    • ‘It was a particularly grisly murder case and one that understandably shook the veteran blues man to his core.’
    • ‘This is the man police believe could hold the key to the grisly murder of two men, whose battered bodies were found in a York bedsit.’
    • ‘The horrified owners of a popular bakery today told of their shock at being caught up in York's grisly double murder hunt.’
    • ‘Jurors were spared much of the gory detail in the case, but the horrific nature of the crime and the grisly aftermath was hard to avoid.’
    • ‘The grisly discoveries mean even more tension in areas shaken by an insurgent uprising.’
    • ‘Shots were being fired from the tower in every direction as we approached the grisly scene.’
    • ‘My plea also goes out to the parents of the ones doing these grisly acts.’
    • ‘He was determined not to suffer the same grisly fate and kept walking until he found a remote abandoned log cabin where he made his home.’
    • ‘Despite the rather grisly subject matter, it is a fascinating subject.’
    gruesome, ghastly, frightful, horrid, horrifying, fearful, hideous, macabre, spine-chilling, horrible, horrendous, grim, awful, dire, dreadful, terrible, horrific
    disgusting, repulsive, repugnant, revolting, repellent, sickening, distressing, shocking, appalling, abominable, loathsome, abhorrent, odious, monstrous, unspeakable
    sick, sick-making, gut-churning, gross
    disgustful, loathly
    View synonyms


Old English grislic terrifying of Germanic origin; related to Dutch griezelig.