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

  • adj. Unrelenting; rigid.
  • adj. Uninviting or unnerving in aspect; forbidding: "undoubtedly the grimmest part of him was his iron claw” ( J.M. Barrie).
  • adj. Ghastly; sinister: "He made a grim jest at the horrifying nature of his wound” ( Reginald Pound). See Synonyms at ghastly.
  • adj. Dismal; gloomy: a grim, rainy day.
  • adj. Ferocious; savage: the grim advance of the pillaging army.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. dismal and gloomy, cold and forbidding
  • adj. rigid and unrelenting
  • adj. ghastly or sinister
  • adj. disgusting; gross

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of forbidding or fear-inspiring aspect; fierce; stern; surly; cruel; frightful; horrible.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of a fierce, stern, or forbidding aspect; severe or repellent in appearance or demeanor; fierce; sullen; surly.
  • Stern in character or quality; unyielding; dreadful; formidable: as, grim determination.
  • Marked by harshness or severity; distressful; dolorous; cheerless: as, grim suffering; a grim jest.
  • Synonyms Grisly, Hideous, etc. (see ghastly); severe, harsh, hard.
  • To make grim; give a stern or forbidding aspect to.
  • n. Anger; wrath.

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

  • adj. causing dejection
  • adj. not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty
  • adj. filled with melancholy and despondency
  • adj. harshly ironic or sinister
  • adj. shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
  • adj. harshly uninviting or formidable in manner or appearance


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

Middle English, from Old English, fierce, severe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English grim.


  • Her dark curls were disheveled, her expression grim and making her look every one of her fifty-plus years.

    Etched in Bone

  • Detective Hauer was there, his expression grim as he watched the proceedings.


  • Slater was too preoccupied to take notice of any of them, his expression grim and haunted as he rode the brake and swung the low-slung sportscar into its stall.

    The Second Time

  • “Not personally,” Royce said, his expression grim as he set down the snifter.

    Chasing a Rogue

  • Robert held her gaze for a long time, his expression grim and slightly troubled.

    Tempted by Your Touch

  • Blood Thorn had painted his face black, his expression grim.

    Fire The Sky

  • A nurse darted out, her expression grim, and went hurrying past Sharon toward the ward station.

    Western Man

  • He turned away from the old man, his expression grim.

    Father's day

  • Shy raised his hands in a sort of mock dismay, although his tone was deadly serious and his expression grim.

    The Mistaken Wife

  • “Speak for yourself,” the earl said, his expression grim.

    One Night in Scotland


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