Definition of grit in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡrɪt/


[mass noun]
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.
gravel, pebbles, stones, shingle, sand, dust, dirt
1.1 [as modifier] (With numeral) indicating the grade of fineness of an abrasive: 400 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: [count noun]: 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: I’ve known few men who could match Maude’s grit
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, courageousness, bravery, pluck, mettle, mettlesomeness, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fibre, steel, nerve, gameness, valour, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, determination, resolution;
stamina, doggedness, tenacity, perseverance, endurance
informal gumption, guts, spunk
British informal bottle
vulgar slang balls

verb (grits, gritting, gritted)

1 [with object] Spread grit and often salt on (an icy road): (as adjective gritting) a council gritting lorry
More example sentences
  • According to Highways Agency guidelines councils are not required to grit every street and road in the borough.
  • We feel that none of the above would have happened if the council had gritted the roads.
  • After the crashes, City of York Council insisted it had gritted the road according to its procedures.
2 [no object] Grate: 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.


grit one's teeth

Clench one’s teeth, especially when faced with something unpleasant: grit your teeth and splash yourself with cold water!
More example sentences
  • He gritted his teeth, clenched his jaw, and tried to shut everything around him out.
  • He clenched his fists and gritted his teeth as he strode through the hall of the large hospital.
  • All I can say is: grit your teeth, clench your fists, be prepared… for lots of bad stuff.
clench, clamp together, press together, shut tightly;
grate, grind, gnash, scrape, rasp
1.1Resolve to do something difficult or unpleasant: Parliament must grit its teeth and take action
More example sentences
  • Despite the huge losses, Granada have gritted their teeth and stumped up an extra £25m to invest in its programme schedule, on top of £750m already earmarked.
  • I'm sure nobody believed us, but we stuck with it, gritted our teeth, and refused to contemplate the idea of failure.
  • Well, since the editor of the magazine had incurred costs, I felt morally obliged to help him out, so I gritted my teeth and revised the article.


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

Line breaks: grit

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