Definition of gruesome in US English:

gruesome

adjective

  • 1Causing repulsion or horror; grisly.

    ‘a most gruesome murder’
    • ‘His determination to show us the full consequences of a shooting delivers some of the most gruesome images this side of a horror movie.’
    • ‘The gruesome murder shocked and revolted the nation, igniting a debate on the killers' future.’
    • ‘A debate ensued which led to the rather gruesome killing of the witches of the medieval period.’
    • ‘One of the employees went to check on the missing worker and discovered the gruesome murder scene.’
    • ‘Though the gruesome murders happened a decade ago, it seems that time has stood still.’
    • ‘The fur trade is a violent, bloody business but these skins are particularly gruesome.’
    • ‘Her vivid descriptions are often gruesome, but never gratuitous.’
    • ‘The story would have remained just a gruesome piece of local history had not something extraordinary occurred two years later.’
    • ‘Why such gruesome murders are happening again and again is really a thought-provoking question.’
    • ‘But I could not bear to have the weight of your most gruesome death on my conscience.’
    • ‘Well, it was gruesome, there was some awful acting, but the film had a good premise and a nice twist at the end.’
    • ‘A bit like watching a car crash, it was gruesome but fascinating.’
    • ‘An apartment complex in Southern California is hit by a string of gruesome murders.’
    • ‘That is the way a lot of people cope with doing such a horrible, gruesome, barbaric job.’
    • ‘A railway worker had a rather gruesome discovery whilst making his rounds last week.’
    • ‘In front of him was one of the most gruesome scenes he had ever seen in his lifetime.’
    • ‘Sure, some will die a horrible gruesome death, but it's only what a fox would do to another animal.’
    • ‘To anyone who thinks of an abattoir as a place of gruesome horrors, this might sound like good news.’
    • ‘I haven't seen it, but I heard they cut out an awful lot of parts of it, which were gruesome.’
    • ‘When the spirits are particularly gruesome I've been shocked, but I realise that they can't hurt me.’
    grisly, ghastly, frightful, horrid, horrifying, fearful, hideous, macabre, spine-chilling, horrible, horrendous, grim, awful, dire, dreadful, terrible, horrific
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Extremely unpleasant.
      ‘gruesome working hours’
      • ‘Many troops now feel that they will never see the civilian life they once saw at the end of a long, gruesome road.’
      • ‘The manner of his sacking was gruesome enough - a clean sacking turned into a protracted public humiliation for both men.’
      • ‘It is because the daily reports are too harrowing, the gruesome repetition too terrible.’
      • ‘The spurious impact of channels on society is an issue of gruesome and far-reaching consequences.’
      unpleasant, disagreeable, disgusting, distasteful, awful, dreadful, horrible, terrible, vile, foul, abominable, frightful, loathsome, revolting, repulsive, odious, sickening, nauseating, nauseous, repellent, repugnant, horrendous, hideous, appalling, atrocious, offensive, objectionable, obnoxious, unpalatable, unsavoury, unappetizing, off-putting, uninviting, dirty, filthy, squalid
      View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: from Scots grue ‘to feel horror, shudder’ (of Scandinavian origin) + -some. Rare before the late 18th century, the word was popularized by Sir Walter Scott.

Pronunciation

gruesome

/ˈɡro͞osəm//ˈɡrusəm/