from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An imaginary gnomelike creature to whom mechanical problems, especially in aircraft, are attributed.
- n. A maker of mischief.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A mythical creature reputed to be mechanically inclined and mischievously inclined to damage or dismantle machinery.
- n. Any mysterious, unknown source of trouble or mischief.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievous
Perhaps blend of Irish gruaimín, bad-tempered little fellow (from Middle Irish gruaim, gloom, surliness) and goblin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Possibly from Old English grëmian ("to vex", "to anger"), related to German grämen and Swedish gräma ("to grieve"). (Wiktionary)