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  • IPA(key): /ˈɡɹɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪt

Etymology 1[edit]

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


a pile of grit set out for grouse, which the birds swallow to assist in digesting heather

grit (uncountable)

  1. A collection of hard small materials, such as dirt, ground stone, debris from sandblasting or other such grinding, or swarf from metalworking.
    The flower beds were white with grit from sand blasting the flagstone walkways.
    1. Sand or a sand–salt mixture spread on wet and, especially, icy roads and footpaths to improve traction.
  2. Inedible particles in food.
    These cookies seem to have grit from nutshells in them.
  3. A measure of the 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, 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.
    • 1861, Charles Reade, The Cloister and the Hearth
      They came to a rising ground , not sharp , but long ; and here youth and grit and sober living told more than ever.
    • 1880, Edwin Percy Whipple, Success and Its Conditions:
      If you are overcome by a man of grit, he insolently makes you conscious of your own weakness
    • 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], archived from the original on 6 September 2015:
      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.
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grit (third-person singular simple present grits, present participle gritting, simple past and past participle gritted or (nonstandard) grit)

  1. Apparently only in grit one's teeth: to clench, particularly in reaction to pain or anger.
    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. (obsolete, intransitive) To give forth a grating sound, like sand under the feet; to grate; to grind.
    • 1767, Oliver Goldsmith, The Hermit
      The sanded |floor that grits beneath the tread.
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Etymology 2[edit]

From 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. (usually in the plural) Husked but unground oats.
  2. (usually in the plural) Coarsely ground corn or hominy used as porridge.
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grit (comparative mair grit, superlative maist grit)

  1. great