- 1looking or sounding very serious a grim face/look/smile She looked grim. with a look of grim determination on his face He set about the task with grim concentration. grim-faced policemen
- 2unpleasant and depressing grim news We face the grim prospect of still higher unemployment. Despite the grim forecast, the number of deaths was slightly down on last year. The outlook is pretty grim. This latest attack is a grim reminder of how vulnerable our airports are to terrorist attack. Booth paints a grim picture of life in the next century. a grim struggle for survival Things are looking grim for workers in the building industry.
- 3(of a place or building) not attractive; depressing The house looked grim and dreary in the rain. the grim walls of the prison
- 4[not before noun] (British English, informal) ill/sick I feel grim this morning. See related entries: Being ill
- 5[not usually before noun] (British English, informal) of very low quality Their performance was fairly grim, I'm afraid! Word Origin Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch grim and German grimm.Extra examples James had some rather grim news. The accident serves as a grim reminder of what drinking and driving can do. There was a grim smile on her face as she approached. They clung on to the edge of the boat with grim determination.Idioms
(informal) to hold somebody/something very tightly because you are afraid