See also: Grit




Etymology 1Edit

With early modern vowel shortening, from Middle English grete, griet, from Old English grēot, from Proto-Germanic *greutą (compare German Grieß, Swedish gryta), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰr-eu-d- (compare Lithuanian grúodas ‘frost; frozen street dirt’, Serbo-Croatian grȕda ‘lump’).


grit ‎(uncountable)

a pile of grit set out for grouse, which the birds swallow to assist in digesting heather
  1. Collection of hard small materials, such as dirt, ground stone, debris from sandblasting or other such grinding, swarf from metalworking.
    The flower beds were white with grit from sand blasting the flagstone walkways.
    1. Sand or a sand-salt mixture used to improve traction on wet and, especially, icy roads and footpaths.
  2. Inedible particles in food.
    It tastes like grit from nutshells in these cookies.
  3. A measure of relative coarseness of an abrasive material such as sandpaper, the smaller the number the coarser the abrasive.
    I need a sheet of 100 grit sandpaper.
  4. (geology) A hard, coarse-grained siliceous sandstone; gritstone. Also, to a finer sharp-grained sandstone, e.g. grindstone grit.
  5. Strength of mind; great courage or fearlessness; fortitude.
    That kid with the cast on his arm has the grit to play dodgeball.
    • 2015 April 15, Jonathan Martin, “For a Clinton, It’s Not Hard to Be Humble in an Effort to Regain Power”, in The New York Times[1]:
      But what their admirers call grit and critics deem shamelessness can overshadow another essential element of the Clinton school: a willingness to put on the hair shirt of humility to regain power.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of C. Reade to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of E. P. Whipple to this entry?)
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grit ‎(third-person singular simple present grits, present participle gritting, simple past and past participle gritted or (nonstandard) grit)

  1. To clench, particularly in reaction to pain or anger; apparently only appears in gritting one's teeth.
    We had no choice but to grit our teeth and get on with it.
    He has a sleeping disorder and grits his teeth.
  2. To cover with grit.
  3. To give forth a grating sound, like sand under the feet; to grate; to grind.
    • Goldsmith
      The sanded floor that grits beneath the tread.
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Etymology 2Edit

Middle English gryt ‘bran, chaff’, from Old English grytt, from Proto-Germanic *grutją ‘coarsely ground bits’ (compare Dutch grut, German Grütze), ablaut variant of Proto-Indo-European *gʰr-eu-d-. See above.


grit ‎(plural grits)

  1. (chiefly in the plural) husked but unground oats
  2. (chiefly in the plural) coarsely ground corn or hominy used as porridge
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