Definition of gripe in English:


Line breaks: gripe
Pronunciation: /grʌɪp


  • 1 [no object] informal Complain about something in a persistent, irritating way: it’s no use griping about your boss or your pay [with direct speech]: ‘Holidays make no difference to Simon,’ Pat griped
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    • For weeks I griped and complained about the fact that my boxes hadn't arrived from England yet.
    • We chunter through each day, grumbling, griping and groaning.
    • They will grumble, they will gripe, they will moan about waiting lists and rotten food.
  • 2 [with object] (usually as adjective griping) Affect with gastric or intestinal pain: spasmodic griping pains
    More example sentences
    • Nowadays an infusion of coriander is recommended for relieving flatulence, bloating and griping pains, as well as for suppressing the lingering smell of garlic.
    • It started to gripe my stomach too.
    • Sometimes the griping pain was so severe that she screamed and tossed in the bed.
  • 3 [with object] archaic Grasp tightly; clutch: Hilyard griped his dagger
  • 4 [with object] Nautical Secure (a boat) with gripes.
    More example sentences
    • The boat must be fully griped in at the davits and the harbour stop pins must be out.
  • 5 [no object] Sailing (Of a ship) turn to face the wind despite the efforts of the helmsman.
    More example sentences
    • I had occasion to observe the vessel griped to windward considerably.


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  • 1 informal A minor complaint: my only gripe is the size of the page numbers
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    • These are all relatively minor gripes, admittedly.
    • Our minor gripes were far out-weighed by some superb service and good quality food.
    • Though it seemed a legitimate gripe, complaining did no good.
  • 2 [mass noun] Gastric or intestinal pain; colic: seeing your tiny baby suffering with wind and gripe
    More example sentences
    • Plenty of time for late night blogging while coping with teething, chronic gripe and insomnia from 4am feeds.
    • Andres was suffering from gripe and sinus problems for a couple weeks.
    • When I brought him home he slept and then he started to cry loudly and I thought he had gripe.
  • 3 archaic An act of grasping something tightly: he seized me by the arms with a rude gripe
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    • Do we know that there is a possibility, on any terms, of unclasping the firm gripe of this little Hand, which was laid upon me before I came into the world?
    • Holding me with a strong gripe by the cord that tied my hands, he with many oaths threatened to kill me immediately if I would not be quiet.
  • 4 (gripes) Nautical Lashings securing a boat in its place on deck or in davits.
    More example sentences
    • The whole operation is performed by one man only in the boat, who, by simply paying off a rope, unlashes and frees the boat from the ship's gripes.
    • As soon as we lowered the starboard action boat to the next deck the gripes of the boat caught and we had to cut them with an axe.



More example sentences
  • But that's not what the gripers are really complaining about.
  • You can silence the gripers, but they'll come back later and undermine the effort.
  • Next to the defeated politician, the writer is the most vocal and inventive griper on earth.


Old English grīpan 'grasp, clutch', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch grijpen, German greifen 'seize', also to grip and grope. sense 2 of the verb dates from the 17th century; sense 1 of the verb, of US origin, dates from the 1930s.

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