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From Gradgrind +‎ -ian, name of a pedantic character in Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times.


Gradgrindian (comparative more Gradgrindian, superlative most Gradgrindian)

  1. Having a soulless devotion to facts and figures; inflexibly utilitarian.
    Synonym: Gradgrindish
    • 2006 November 13, “Winners must be facts-obsessed in pursuit for truth”, in Financial Times:
      But today's winning businesses are positively Gradgrindian in their pursuit of the truth.
    • 2016 February 28, John Old, “The EU refendum: Europe’s antidote to alienation and scapegoating is hope”, in The Guardian[1], →ISSN:
      Whether one favours a Gradgrindian Thatcherism that removes all worker rights, or a Corbynista fantasy of wholesale nationalisation, we will find these are impossible, given the reach of the Brussels acquis.
    • 2018 February 16, Peter Bradshaw, “I’ve never known my times tables. Frankly, who needs them?”, in The Guardian[2], →ISSN:
      But I have never quite got my head around my times tables, which I think are a Gradgrindian chanting fetish periodically revived by politicians who, if they are honest with themselves, have never really needed times tables either.

Usage notes[edit]

Sometimes used without the initial capital.

Related terms[edit]