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From Middle English grist, gryst, from Old English grist, gyrst (the action of grinding, corn for grinding, gnashing), from a derivative of Proto-Germanic *gredaną (to crunch), from Proto-Indo-European *ghrēu- (to rub, grind). Cognate with Old Saxon gristgrimmo (gnashing of the teeth), German Griesgram (a grumbler, a grouch, peevishness, misery), Old English gristel (gristle). More at gristle.



grist (uncountable)

  1. Grain that is to be ground in a mill.
    • 2013 July-August, Henry Petroski, “Geothermal Energy”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 4: 
      Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.
  2. (obsolete) A group of bees.
  3. (colloquial, obsolete) Supply; provision.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)
  4. (ropemaking) A given size of rope, common grist being a rope three inches in circumference, with twenty yarns in each of the three strands.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)

Derived terms[edit]







  1. second- and third-person singular present indicative of grissen
  2. (archaic) plural imperative of grissen