Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To complain; grumble.
  • noun A cause for complaint.
  • noun Any of various plump, chiefly ground-dwelling gallinaceous birds of the subfamily Tetraoninae of northern North America and Eurasia, characteristically having feathered legs and nostrils and mottled plumage.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The Scotch ptarmigan, moorhen, or red-game, Tetrao or Lagopus scoticus, a British gallinaceous bird with feathered feet. It is a local modification or insular race of the common ptarmigan of Europe. Hence — 2. Some bird like the above; any bird of the family Tetraonidœ and subfamily Tetraoninæ.
  • noun In the widest sense, as a collective plural, the grouse family, Tetraonidæ. In this sense the word includes various partridges and related birds.
  • To hunt or shoot grouse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To seek or shoot grouse.
  • intransitive verb informal To complain or grumble.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any of the numerous species of gallinaceous birds of the family Tetraonidæ, and subfamily Tetraoninæ, inhabiting Europe, Asia, and North America. They have plump bodies, strong, well-feathered legs, and usually mottled plumage. The group includes the ptarmigans (Lagopus), having feathered feet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of various game birds of the family Tetraonidae which inhabit temperate and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere.
  • verb To seek or shoot grouse.
  • adjective Australia, New Zealand, slang Excellent.
  • noun A cause for complaint.
  • verb To complain or grumble.

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

  • verb complain
  • verb hunt grouse
  • noun popular game bird having a plump body and feathered legs and feet
  • noun flesh of any of various grouse of the family Tetraonidae; usually roasted; flesh too dry to broil

Etymologies

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

[Perhaps from French dialectal groucer, from Old French grouchier; see grudge.]

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

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Attested in the 1530s, as grows, a plural used collectively. Of unknown origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1940s, origin uncertain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

As a verb from the late 19th century (first recorded by Kipling), as a noun from the early 20th; origin uncertain, possibly from French groucier "to murmur, grumble", in origin onomatopoeic. Compare grutch with the same meaning, but attestation from the 1200s, whence also grouch.

Examples

Comments

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  • Also Australian slang for bloody good, excellent, etc.

    September 11, 2008

  • Bodhi is correct, although this term is dated. I haven't heard it used in seriousness since the 1980's. It's true enough to say that many classic Australianisms - particularly those recognisable to foreigners - have fallen into disuse in recent years.

    January 21, 2009

  • "It's ridiculous -- she's too old for him and he's a slow learner and a tenant and a Lamb, for gawdsake, but he's just the grousest looking boy, and his hot blue eyes make you go racy inside."

    Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, p 159 of the Graywolf Press hardcover edition

    March 31, 2010

  • Mrs. Hudson made this for Holmes and Watson's dinner in "The Dancing Men" episode.

    June 13, 2012