noun (plural grizzlies)(also grizzly bear)
- Ursus arctos horribilis, family Ursidae
- The area is home to around 40 grizzlies and an unknown number of smaller black bears.
- There were wolves about in those days, as well as grizzlies in Montana and Alberta.
- The polar bear may surpass the Alaskan grizzly in size, with the maximum recorded weighing 726 kg.
adjective (grizzlier, grizzliest)Back to top
- He looked old and gruff, with a grizzly gray beard and a deeply tanned face.
- He had a grizzly gray beard, a dirty brown shirt, denim pants and dark black hair that was very untidy.
- The man stood up, and his graying, grizzly brown hair toppled into his brown eyes as he glared at Colin.
early 19th century: grizzly from grizzle2.
A grizzly is a large North American bear which has brown fur with white-tipped hairs. Fearsome though the bear's appearance is, its name has nothing to do with the word grisly. In fact grizzly is a variant of grizzled (Late Middle English), ‘streaked with grey hair’. This comes from Old French gris ‘grey’, whereas grisly is from Old English grislic, meaning ‘terrifying’. Grizzle (mid 18th century) meaning ‘to cry or whine’ is a different word again. It started life in the dialect of Devon and Cornwall, and originally meant ‘to grin or laugh’, so has taken the opposite route to grin.
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Entry from British & World English dictionary
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