Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of an object, green when first observed before a specified time or blue when first observed after that time.
  • adj. Green or blue, as a translation from languages such as Welsh that do not distinguish between these hues.
  • v. To be frightened; to shudder with fear.
  • n. A shiver, a shudder
  • n. Any byproduct of a gruesome event, i.e. gore, viscera, entrails, blood and guts.
  • n. A fictional predator that dwells in the dark.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shiver; shudder; feel horror.
  • (impersonal) To pain; grieve.

Etymologies

From Middle English gruen. Probably from Middle Low German gruwen or Middle Dutch gruwen (Dutch gruwen), both from Proto-Germanic *grūwijanan. (Wiktionary)
Back-formation from gruesome. (Wiktionary)
Probably from gruesome; first used in Jack Vance's Dying Earth universe, but popularized by the text-based computer game Zork (1980). (Wiktionary)
Blend of green and blue. Coined by Nelson Goodman to illustrate concepts in the philosophy of science. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Still in the grip of a cold grue, I swung around and strained my eyes ... half expecting to see the scene engraved on my memory materialize again out of darkness...."
    —Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (NY: Dell, 1997), 250

    January 19, 2010

  • To expand, an object is grue if green and examined before time t, or blue and not examined before t.

    October 24, 2007

  • 'It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.' (Zork)

    Also a creation of Nelson Goodman. See also bleen.

    October 23, 2007

  • The noise made by people feeling ill in children's comics in the 80's.

    EDIT: ignore the above! The word I was thinking of was the homonym groo.

    October 23, 2007