adjective grue·some \ˈgrü-səm\

: causing horror or disgust

Full Definition of GRUESOME

:  inspiring horror or repulsion :  grisly
grue·some·ly adverb
grue·some·ness noun

Variants of GRUESOME

grue·some also grew·some \ˈgrü-səm\

Origin of GRUESOME

alteration of earlier growsome, from English dialect grow, grue to shiver, from Middle English gruen, probably from Middle Dutch grūwen; akin to Old High German ingrūēn to shiver
First Known Use: circa 1700

Synonym Discussion of GRUESOME

ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, lurid mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts <a ghastly accident>. grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty <an unusually grisly murder> <suffered a gruesome death>. macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death <a macabre tale of premature burial>. lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder <the lurid details of a crime>.

Rhymes with GRUESOME

GRUESOME Defined for Kids


adjective grue·some \ˈgrü-səm\

Definition of GRUESOME for Kids

:  causing horror or disgust <Some of the potions had effects almost too gruesome to think about … — J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets>


Next Word in the Dictionary: gruff (adjective)Previous Word in the Dictionary: GruesAll Words Near: gruesome
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears