Definition of grunt in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡrənt/


[no object]
1(Of an animal, especially a pig) make a low, short guttural sound.
Example sentences
  • Simon on the other hand is in love with cuddly toys, and also anything that chimes or makes a silly noise, especially cows mooing or pigs grunting.
  • And you'll not hear a pig grunting or a hen cackling in many farmyards today.
  • The large creatures were grunting and groaning, and their large, curved tusks flashed in the moonlight.
1.1(Of a person) make a low inarticulate sound, typically to express effort or indicate assent: Graham grunted and heaved as he helped the masons fit a huge slab of stone into place [with direct speech]: ‘What is it?’ he grunted irritably [with object]: he grunted his approval and then walked back
More example sentences
  • I mentally grunted and tried hard to make my steps not sound so much like stomps as I made my way to the doors.
  • But now, in the woods, he shovels so ardently he is grunting.
  • Normally she was grunting and complaining about one thing or another in her usual mocking tone.


1A low, short guttural sound made by an animal or a person.
Example sentences
  • If your language consists of little more than guttural grunts and cherry pie, you can't be blamed for not getting it.
  • Their vocalisations range from low guttural contact grunts to alarm barks and screams.
  • He could hear voices behind him, the low, guttural grunts of goblins or orcs.
2North American informal A low-ranking or unskilled soldier or other worker: he went from grunt to senior executive vice president in less than five years [as modifier]: grunt work
Alteration of ground, from ground man (with reference to unskilled railroad work before progressing to lineman)
More example sentences
  • It's a sad fact that money doesn't exactly leak down to the actual grunt workers.
  • On the other hand, I've been a jack-squat soldier surrounded by grunts more times than you could imagine.
  • An infantryman who can't handle the stress of combat is liable to get himself, and some of his fellow grunts, killed in combat.
3US A dessert made of fruit topped with dough: blueberry grunt
More example sentences
  • Grunting a little, I plopped some warm grunt into a bowl.
  • The oddly named grunt is like a warm shortcake consisting of sweet dumplings baked over simmering fruit.
4An edible shoaling fish of tropical inshore waters and coral reefs, able to make a loud noise by grinding its teeth and amplifying the sound in the swim bladder.
  • Family Pomadasyidae: numerous genera and species.
Example sentences
  • There were plenty of fish: blue-striped grunts, moray eels, butterflyfish, bright yellow trumpetfish and multi-coloured wrasse.
  • It is nonetheless a beautiful shallow reef with huge areas of elk and staghorn coral sheltering shoals of grunt, snapper and goatfish.
  • Golden eye or yellowtail grunts, chubs or scads would move unhurriedly across, changing direction with uncanny synchronisation.


Old English grunnettan, of Germanic origin and related to German grunzen; probably originally imitative.

  • disgruntled from mid 17th century:

    Disgruntled people may go round muttering to themselves and complaining. Originally the word involved comparison with a pig making small or subdued grunts (an Old English word probably imitating the sound). The main element of disgruntled is gruntle, a dialect word used of pigs from the Middle Ages and of grumbling people from a little later. In the 17th century someone added dis- as an intensifier and created disgruntled. In the 20th century the comic novelist P. G. Wodehouse (1881–1975) removed the dis- again and introduced the humorous gruntled, ‘pleased’. In The Code of the Woosters, published in 1938, he wrote: ‘I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.’

Words that rhyme with grunt

affront, blunt, brunt, bunt, confront, front, Granth, hunt, mahant, runt, shunt, stunt, up-front

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: grunt

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