Definition of grit in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɡrit/


1Small, loose particles of stone or sand: she had a bit of grit in her eye
More example sentences
  • During the course of your fishing session your line will pick up small bits of grit, sand and algae.
  • Clean the cockles or clams by soaking them in cold water for at least 30 minutes to remove any sand or grit.
  • He swallowed dust and grit and a bit of his back tooth.
sand, dust, dirt;
gravel, pebbles, stones
1.1 [as modifier] (With numeral) indicating the grade of fineness of an abrasive: 220-grit paper
More example sentences
  • A disk grinder with a 30 grit sanding disk works well for removing rubber.
  • Using 220 - grit sandpaper, lightly sand all the surfaces of the door and frames.
  • I applied two light layers of primer sanding after each one with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper.
1.2 (also gritstone) A coarse sandstone: layers of impervious shales and grits
More example sentences
  • They were to be created from local limestone, sandstone and gritstone and each cairn was to feature a spiral design of dry stone walls emanating outwards.
  • Work has involved replacing the original limestone steps with gritstone that will be less slippery.
  • Not all rock is the same, and gritstone is like no other.
2Courage and resolve; strength of character: he displayed the true grit of the navy pilot
More example sentences
  • Our backs were truly against the wall and finally some of the true grit and character that has been lying dormant for too long came flooding through.
  • The crew is rising to every little challenge they are given and conquering them all with true grit and sheer determination.
  • With home games against sides they have the ability to beat and away games against sides they have already beaten, it is now all about true grit and determination.
courage, bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, steel, nerve, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, resolution, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance
informal guts, spunk

verb (grits, gritting, gritted)

[with object]
1Clench (the teeth), especially in order to keep one’s resolve when faced with an unpleasant or painful duty: figurative Congress must grit its teeth and take action (as adjective gritted) “Not here,” he said through gritted teeth
More example sentences
  • Her teeth were gritted painfully as she stared at the ground, not uttering another word.
  • Never has so many congratulations been offered through such painfully gritted teeth.
  • And with that, she left the room in a huff, her fists clenched and her teeth gritted.
clench, clamp together, shut tightly;
grind, gnash
2 [no object] Move with or make a grating sound: fine red dust that gritted between the teeth
More example sentences
  • At least a third of the desert's sand was in my mouth gritting between my teeth.
  • I did not expect a travel story so real that I could almost feel the dust gritting between my teeth.
  • Sand gritted in your teeth with every bite of food and rasped the eyeballs each time you blinked your eyes.


Old English grēot 'sand, gravel', of Germanic origin; related to German Griess, also to groats.

Words that rhyme with grit

acquit, admit, backlit, bedsit, befit, bit, Brit, Britt, chit, commit, demit, dit, emit, fit, flit, frit, git, hit, intermit, it, kit, knit, legit, lickety-split, lit, manumit, mishit, mitt, nit, omit, outsit, outwit, permit, pit, Pitt, pretermit, quit, remit, retrofit, sit, skit, slit, snit, spit, split, sprit, squit, submit, transmit, twit, whit, wit, writ, zit

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: grit

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.