adjective (grislier, grisliest)
- Causing horror or disgust: the town was shaken by a series of grisly crimesMore example sentences
gruesome, ghastly, frightful, horrid, horrifying, fearful, hideous, macabre, spine-chilling, horrible, horrendous, grim, awful, dire, dreadful, terrible, horrific; disgusting, repulsive, repugnant, revolting, repellent, sickening, distressing, shocking, appalling, abominable, loathsome, abhorrent, odious, monstrous, unspeakable• archaic disgustful, loathly
- Jurors were spared much of the gory detail in the case, but the horrific nature of the crime and the grisly aftermath was hard to avoid.
- The story of secrecy, scientific ethics and national security is macabre, grisly and disturbing.
- This opening scene sets the tone for a grisly, gory and sometimes comic werewolf horror film.
- More example sentences
- But that's the kind of story it is; there's no grisliness for the sake of grisliness - it grows out of the situation, and never dominates the movie.
- From there, the action quickly shifts to a battlefield that is dominated by a sense of the grisliness and cruelty of war.
- There's much grisliness on display - including a lively decapitation and some excruciating business involving a bear trap - but I wouldn't call it a satire.
Old English grislic 'terrifying', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch griezelig.
The words grisly and grizzly are quite different in meaning, though often confused. Grisly means ‘causing horror or disgust’, as in grisly crimes , whereas grizzly is chiefly used with reference to a kind of large American bear, and can also mean ‘grey or grey-haired’.