from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement. See Synonyms at regret.
  • n. A source of deep mental anguish.
  • n. Annoyance or frustration: Trying to follow their directions was nothing but grief.
  • n. Trouble or difficulty: the griefs of trying to meet a deadline.
  • n. Archaic A grievance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Cause or instance of sorrow or pain; that which afflicts or distresses; trial.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Pain of mind on account of something in the past; mental suffering arising from any cause, as misfortune, loss of friends, misconduct of one's self or others, etc.; sorrow; sadness.
  • n. Cause of sorrow or pain; that which afficts or distresses; trial; grievance.
  • n. Physical pain, or a cause of it; malady.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Regretful or remorseful sorrow; mental distress or misery caused by something done or suffered by one's self or others; affliction; woe.
  • n. Cause of sorrow or pain; that which afflicts or distresses; grievance.
  • n. Bodily pain; physical suffering.
  • n. Synonyms Sorrow, Wretchedness, etc. (see affliction); bitterness, heartache, anguish, agony, woe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. something that causes great unhappiness
  • n. intense sorrow caused by loss of a loved one (especially by death)


Middle English, from Old French, from grever, to harm, aggrieve; see grieve.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English greef, gref, from Old French grief ("grave, heavy, grievous, sad"), from Latin gravis ("heavy, grievous, sad.") (Wiktionary)


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