Definition of grudge in English:



  • A persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury.

    ‘she held a grudge against her former boss’
    • ‘"It turned out that she had a petty grudge against both of us.’
    • ‘They intend to interview friends, former colleagues, ex-girlfriends, even former classmates - anyone who may have held a grudge against him.’
    • ‘Elephants are renowned for their long memories and are not unknown to bear grudges.’
    • ‘Do you have a longstanding grudge against a relative?’
    • ‘We simply have more important business to attend to right now than nursing an old grudge.’
    • ‘I'll only harbour a grudge against you for the rest of my life.’
    • ‘She had fallen in love, and he had harbored a grudge ever since.’
    • ‘I have also learned that journalists hold grudges far longer and over a lot less than studio executives.’
    • ‘We draw up alliances with loyalties thicker than blood and we nurse old grudges with photographic memories.’
    • ‘Balancing George's long-held grudges, however, was his tenacious loyalty.’
    • ‘For example, one might carry a grudge or feelings of guilt for years.’
    • ‘"No sense in holding grudges, " Lucy replied.’
    • ‘Boy, these guys sure do bear a grudge, don't they?’
    • ‘I tend to hold personal, self-deprecating grudges for a bit.’
    • ‘The difference between nursing a grudge and committing to a war should be obvious.’
    • ‘Is it spontaneous, promulgated by a third party, or the result of a growing, longstanding grudge?’
    • ‘He held a grudge against me, and so he made up lies to slander me.’
    • ‘Sources later explained that he was thought to be harbouring a grudge against the Prime Minister.’
    • ‘There is no point bearing grudges if you want to do well.’
    • ‘Maybe we have old grudges that darken our perspective.’
    resentment, bitterness, rancour, pique, umbrage, displeasure, dissatisfaction, disgruntlement, bad feelings, hard feelings, ill feelings, ill will, venom, hate, hatred, dislike, aversion, animosity, antipathy, antagonism, enmity, animus
    a chip on one's shoulder
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  • 1 Be resentfully unwilling to give, grant, or allow (something)

    ‘he grudged the work and time that the meeting involved’
    • ‘We wouldn't grudge judicial quickness in headline-grabbing cases if it weren't for the appalling figures our justice system throws up again and again.’
    • ‘Maximising profit is in the nature of the animal, and if we want democratic choice, we cannot grudge commercial media exercising theirs.’
    • ‘After 83 minutes they had finally given an inch, grudging it to Ireland with all their hearts.’
    • ‘Some grudge it because it stands on the way of their goal.’
    • ‘Until such a time, we cannot grudge women demanding separate bus seats or special attention in queues.’
    • ‘When money ran out, they were the only ones working on their land not grudging their son's indulgence in the newfound joys of matrimony.’
    • ‘The only dissenting voice was Henry's son William, who grudged the loss to the estate of a prime field.’
    • ‘I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.’
    • ‘A simple man, Ramesh does not grudge cricketers getting all mileage.’
    • ‘There is no reason to grudge the fact that the rain nearly spoiled the Onam celebrations.’
    • ‘No one can deny Naipaul's writing skill or grudge this award for a lifetime of literary hard work.’
    begrudge, resent, feel aggrieved about, feel bitter about, be annoyed about, be angry about, be displeased about, be resentful of, mind, object to, take exception to, regret
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    1. 1.1[with two objects, usually with negative]Feel resentful that (someone) has achieved (something)
      ‘I don't grudge him his moment of triumph’
      • ‘But while he peppered his press conferences with the odd spell of self-flagellation, claiming he was being selfish, few will grudge him his opportunity.’
      • ‘I mean, I grudge nobody an honest living, but can they still be going?’
      • ‘I didn't grudge him the time with his boyfriend, because he was so damn happy.’
      • ‘Not that I'd really have grudged him a snack, you understand, but I'm rather fond of the little baby frogs and heaven knows they have enough trouble making it into adulthood as it is.’
      • ‘And who could grudge her the comfort of a family just the other side of a common wall?’
      • ‘Not that one grudges the great player any of that adulation.’
      • ‘Sometimes they'll peck at a particularly luscious flower or leaf, too, but there's enough there and to spare so I don't grudge them their dietary needs.’
      • ‘Mind you, it helps that you don't grudge me a few of your goldfish.’
      • ‘It seems like everyone in this family grudges me any fun in my life.’
      • ‘Ah well, I don't grudge her that moment of bitter victory.’
      • ‘I don't grudge him it but he pays more in tax than I was being offered.’
      • ‘For the hosts, the result yielded a narrow defeat bonus point, scant reward for a spirited effort in the final quarter that almost gave them a surprise win that few could have grudged them.’
      • ‘I don't grudge anyone their share of designer labels - wear 'em if it makes you feel good.’
      • ‘The Hearts players have performed admirably during this season in trying circumstances, so it is hard to grudge them their qualified success.’
      • ‘I don't grudge them their breakfast, nor their liking for the sun, and certainly not the smiling.’
      • ‘Who's going to grudge a pensioner such a silly thing?’
      • ‘For them to have complete belonging to this country may not be fully possible and we should not grudge them that.’
      • ‘Nobody in India grudges them their pride and identity as being Muslims, first and foremost.’
      • ‘But this is your last chance to preach to me, so I wouldn't grudge you the taking advantage of it.’
      • ‘I ain't grudging them their airtime.’
      envy, begrudge, resent, mind
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  • bear someone a grudge (also bear a grudge)

    • Maintain a feeling of ill will or resentment toward someone.

      ‘I hope you will not bear me a grudge’
      ‘perhaps Maria bears a grudge against him for that very reason’


Late Middle English: variant of obsolete grutch complain, murmur, grumble from Old French grouchier, of unknown origin. Compare with grouch.