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From Thomas Gradgrind, a pedantic teacher in Charles Dickens' Hard Times (1854).


Gradgrind (plural Gradgrinds)

  1. One who relies solely on scientific measurements and observable facts without taking human nature into consideration.
    • 1860 June, “Representative Art”, in The Atlantic Monthly[1], volume 5, number 32:
      They do just what all the practical men of this practical age are doing, what even the Gradgrinds are doing: they embody ideas; they put thoughts into facts.
    • 1905, H. G. Wells, A Modern Utopia[2]:
      “I was purring. I'm a Gradgrind—it's quite right—anything you can say about Herbert Spencer, vivisectors, materialistic Science or Atheists, applies without correction to me. []
    • 1916, Arthur B. Reeve, The Ear in the Wall[3]:
      He was a veritable Gradgrind for facts, facts, facts.

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