Definitions

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

  • noun Informal Filth; dirt.
  • noun Rock music that incorporates elements of punk rock and heavy metal, often expressing a bleak or nihilistic outlook.

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

  • noun informal Dirt or filth, especially when difficult to clean.
  • noun informal The state of being filthy; grubbiness.
  • noun A subgenre of alternative music, originating from Seattle, Washington, which melds punk and metal.

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

  • noun the state of being covered with unclean things

Etymologies

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

[Back-formation from grungy.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from grungy.

Examples

  • Though the film makes relatively few gestures toward contextualizing the band's place in the music of the '90s the band's members scorn the term grunge as a reductive buzzword, there are a few heartrending clips of The Most Dangerous Line of Latitude on the Planet Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

    Slate Magazine

  • Not once during these shows did the word grunge cross my mind.

    In search of Nirvana

  • Pearl Jam went on to surpass its 1990s contemporaries like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Nirvana, even as it transcended the label grunge.

    NYT > Home Page

  • With British music in the grip of acid house, and long before the term grunge was in popular use, a trio of musicians from Seattle played the Astoria at the bottom of a bill featuring fellow plaid-shirted rockers TAD and Mudhoney.

    Music news, reviews, comment and features | guardian.co.uk

  • "The term grunge doesn't really bring a whole lot to my mind," Arm says over the phone from his home in Seattle.

    Dallas Observer | Complete Issue

  • "The term grunge doesn't really bring a whole lot to my mind," Arm says over the phone from his home in Seattle.

    Dallas Observer | Complete Issue

  • And dear god, when can we finally retire the term grunge for anything that's worn or distressed looking?

    Netvouz - new bookmarks

  • And dear god, when can we finally retire the term grunge for anything that's worn or distressed looking?

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • "The term grunge doesn't really bring a whole lot to my mind," Arm says over the phone from his home in Seattle.

    Dallas Observer | Complete Issue

  • But the word "grunge," if not beloved, does accurately describe the music's sense of loss, frustration, and anger and the depth of the magically evocative drop D power chord, which you hear in songs like Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" and "Man in the Box" by Alice in Chains.

    The Seattle Sound

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