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 Dictionary entry overview: What does grievous mean? 

GRIEVOUS (adjective)
  The adjective GRIEVOUS has 4 senses:

1. causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm
2. causing or marked by grief or anguish
3. of great gravity or crucial import; requiring serious thought
4. shockingly brutal or cruel

  Familiarity information: GRIEVOUS used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

GRIEVOUS (adjective)

Sense 1grievous [BACK TO TOP]


Causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm


grievous; life-threatening; dangerous; grave; serious; severe

Context examples:

a dangerous operation / a grave situation / a grave illness / grievous bodily harm / a serious wound / a serious turn of events / a severe case of pneumonia / a life-threatening disease


critical (being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency)

Sense 2grievous [BACK TO TOP]


Causing or marked by grief or anguish


heartbreaking; heartrending; grievous

Context examples:

a grievous loss / a grievous cry / her sigh was heartbreaking / the heartrending words of Rabin's granddaughter


sorrowful (experiencing or marked by or expressing sorrow especially that associated with irreparable loss)

Sense 3grievous [BACK TO TOP]


Of great gravity or crucial import; requiring serious thought


grave; grievous; weighty; heavy

Context examples:

grave responsibilities / faced a grave decision in a time of crisis / a grievous fault / heavy matters of state / the weighty matters to be discussed at the peace conference


important; of import (of great significance or value)

Sense 4grievous [BACK TO TOP]


Shockingly brutal or cruel


heinous; flagitious; atrocious; monstrous; grievous

Context examples:

murder is an atrocious crime / a grievous offense against morality / a grievous crime / no excess was too monstrous for them to commit


evil (morally bad or wrong)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"In the end, a man's motives are second to his accomplishments." (English proverb)

"The sun shines even when it is cloudy." (Albanian proverb)

"Wherever there's cheese, work there." (Armenian proverb)

"Don't judge the dog by its fur." (Danish proverb)

 GRIEVOUS: related words searches 

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