Definitions

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

  • n. A thin watery porridge.
  • n. Chiefly British Severe punishment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A thin, watery porridge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A light, liquid food, made by boiling meal of maize, oatmeal, or flour in water or milk; thin porridge.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To exhaust; use up; disable.
  • n. A fluid or semi-liquid food, usually for infants or invalids, made by boiling meal or any farinaceous substance in water.
  • n. Hence Any pasty mess.

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

  • n. a thin porridge (usually oatmeal or cornmeal)

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French gruel ( > French gruau), from Frankish *grūt. Compare German Grütze ("grout"), English groats, grit. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Rather thin gruel considering the Rape Room he has established at Treasury.

    Matthew Yglesias » Obama on Sweden

  • Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Are you tired of thin gruel ...

    Are you tired of thin gruel...

  • But seriously, I may not agree with that person, but I would not assume they were racist from the thin gruel of this story.

    Advisor: Was it cruel to let poor kids in India play with my iPod? Boing Boing

  • Now that a group of people demand their rightful place at the table, you have to make it seem that we demand waiters and fine chefs from France or some TEH HOMO COUNTRY while you guys eat plain gruel … as if we demand special rights.

    Think Progress » Former Bush Solicitor General Ted Olson goes after right-wing fear-mongering on marriage equality.

  • Again, the answer is almost certainly, No. Such thin gruel is all we've got thanks to the Obama campaign, which has done a swell job of keeping the truth a secret.

    Re: Does This Mean Anything? - Swampland - TIME.com

  • However, if you are simply a Dem partisan who wanted the President to "lose" on this issue national security be damned, then this news is very thin gruel indeed since the President is still conducting the TSP, only this time with the additional benefit of being able to admit the evidence in court.

    Balkinization

  • It is used just as any other flour is used -- wet up into a paste, made into a gruel, which is boiled for twenty minutes before it is added to the milk.

    The Mother and Her Child

  • Beside the gruel was a tin pannikin of cold water which the boy Abe fetched every hour from the spring.

    The Path of the King

  • Andean people soak the beans for several days in running water to remove the alkaloids, then make a gruel which is often fed to babies or into a flour used in many breads and noodle recipes.

    3: Staple crops

  • Food was now mostly a kind of gruel, rich in starches, proteins, fats and vitamins -- each meal differently flavored, up to the number of ten flavors, in a manufacturer's attempt to mask the sameness.

    The Planet Strappers

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