Definition of grievous in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡrēvəs/


(Of something bad) very severe or serious: his death was a grievous blow the American fleet suffered grievous losses
More example sentences
  • ‘This shocking incident was a terrible loss for the British Army, and struck a grievous blow to the families of the six soldiers,’ he added.
  • The loss of either deputy would be a grievous blow to Quinn.
  • GAA President Sean Kelly described his death as a ‘massive and grievous loss to a great sporting family’.
serious, severe, grave, bad, critical, dreadful, terrible, awful, crushing, calamitous;
painful, agonizing, traumatic, wounding, damaging, injurious;
sharp, acute
heinous, grave, deplorable, shocking, appalling, atrocious, gross, dreadful, egregious, iniquitous


Grievous ends with -ous and has two syllables: do not pronounce it with three syllables (GREE-vee-us), as if it ended with -ious.



Example sentences
  • In other words the PTAs need not use their discretion to decide on the grievousness of the complaint.
  • The first two factors are the grievousness of the acts and the degree of malicious intent.
  • With the available data, the grievousness of the condition of the dugong population in the country was evident.


Middle English: from Old French greveus, from grever (see grieve1).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: griev·ous

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