From Middle English gruel, gruwel, greuel, growel (“meal or flour made from beans, lentils, etc.”), from Old French gruel (“coarse meal; > French gruau”), from Medieval Latin grutellum, diminutive of Medieval Latin grutum (“flour; meal”), from a Germanic source, likely Old English grūt (“meal; grout”) or perhaps Frankish *grūt; both from Proto-Germanic *grūtiz (“ground material; grit”). Compare Dutch gruit, Middle Low German grūt, Middle High German grūz, German Grütze (“grout”). Related also to English groats, grit.
- A thin, watery porridge, formerly eaten primarily by the poor and the ill.
From the noun above.