Definition of grief in English:


Line breaks: grief
Pronunciation: /griːf


[mass noun]
  • 2 informal Trouble or annoyance: the police gave us constant grief at the match
    More example sentences
    • I am getting constant grief from them about returning to Pattaya for this event.
    • We've got a bye this weekend, which means I've got a chance to sort out a back problem that has been giving me a bit of grief in recent matches.
    • It particularly bothers me that they give me even more grief than normal simply if I'm dressed in a tie.
    trouble, annoyance, bother, irritation, vexation, harassment, nuisance
    informal aggravation, aggro, hassle, headache


come to grief

Have an accident; meet with disaster: many a ship has come to grief along this shore
More example sentences
  • Some car or truck has already come to grief at the roundabout and the trace of that accident is still clearly visible.
  • Many ships have come to grief on the Farne Islands, a few miles off the Northumberland coast.
  • Credit experts warned that dozens of families were already coming to grief in the ‘buy now, pay later’ culture.
fail, meet with failure, meet with disaster, miscarry, go wrong, go awry, fall through, fall flat, be frustrated, break down, collapse, founder, fold, come to nothing, come to naught
informal come unstuck, come a cropper, flop, fizzle out, go phut, go down like a lead balloon, bomb, go to the wall, bite the dust
British informal go pear-shaped
North American informal tank

good grief!

An exclamation of surprise or alarm: good grief, is it that time already?
More example sentences
  • Nina? Good grief! You gave me a scare!
  • Good grief, Nat, where on earth have you been? You look like you got dragged through a hedge backwards and then thrown back through it again!
  • Good grief - the man really must be as high as a kite.


Middle English: from Old French grief, from grever 'to burden' (see grieve1).

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