from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Causing grief, pain, or anguish: a grievous loss.
  • adj. Serious or dire; grave: a grievous crime.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Causing grief, pain or sorrow.
  • adj. Serious, grave, dire or dangerous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Causing grief or sorrow; painful; afflictive; hard to bear; offensive; harmful.
  • adj. Characterized by great atrocity; heinous; aggravated; flagitious.
  • adj. Full of, or expressing, grief; showing great sorrow or affliction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Causing grief or sorrow; afflictive; hard to bear; oppressive.
  • Inflicting or capable of inflicting pain or suffering; distressing in act or use; fierce; savage.
  • Atrocious; heinous; aggravated.
  • Expressing grief or affliction; full of grief as, a grievous cry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of great gravity or crucial import; requiring serious thought
  • adj. causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm
  • adj. causing or marked by grief or anguish
  • adj. shockingly brutal or cruel


Anglo-Norman grevous, from grever, to harm, aggrieve, from Latin gravāre, to burden; see grieve.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From grieve, from the Middle English greven, from the Old French grever, from Latin gravare (which means to burden). Developed in the 13th century. (Wiktionary)



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