Definition of grim in English:


Line breaks: grim
Pronunciation: /grɪm

adjective (grimmer, grimmest)


the Grim Reaper

A personification of death in the form of a cloaked skeleton wielding a large scythe: he met the Grim Reaper a decade later
More example sentences
  • Crucially, no-one else had died in Emmerdale over Christmas so it was odds-on the Grim Reaper was sharpening his scythe for someone come the turn of New Year.

like (or for) grim death

British With great determination: we had to hold on like grim death
More example sentences
  • I couldn't hear a thing - I just held on for grim death.
  • Moments later they were hanging on for grim death.
  • If you dare look outside while you are clinging on for grim death, you see the bus is a few inches from the dawdling car in front, the airhorn urging the driver to move it, or move over.



More example sentences
  • England had to hang on grimly throughout the second-half as Ireland laid siege to their territory.
  • The film showed police officers grimly interviewing young offenders in a way that was both shocking and revealing.
  • The looked at us grimly and shook their heads when i waved our tickets at them.


More example sentences
  • Russians can have a seriousness that borders on grimness.
  • Some of the elite recognised that high art could compensate for the deficits of capitalist society; beautiful paintings could make the grimness of everyday life a little easier to bear.
  • My hostel, on first encounter, had an institutional grimness defying the more immediate forms of description.


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch grim and German grimm.

More definitions of grim

Definition of grim in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little