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

  • intransitive v. To utter a deep guttural sound, as a hog does.
  • intransitive v. To utter a sound similar to a grunt, as in disgust.
  • transitive v. To utter or express with a deep guttural sound: He merely grunted his approval.
  • n. A deep guttural sound.
  • n. Any of various chiefly tropical marine fishes of the family Haemulidae that, upon removal from the water, produce grunting sounds by rubbing together tooth plates in the throat.
  • n. Slang An infantryman in the U.S. military, especially in the Vietnam War: "They were called grunts....They were the infantrymen, the foot soldiers of the war” ( Bernard Edelman).
  • n. Slang One who performs routine or mundane tasks.
  • n. New England A dessert made by stewing fruit topped with pieces of biscuit dough, which steam as the fruit cooks. Also called slump.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short, snorting sound, often to show disapproval, or used as a reply when one is reluctant to speak.
  • n. The snorting cry of a pig.
  • n. A family of Perciformes fish of the family Haemulidae
  • n. An infantry soldier. (From the sound he presumably makes when shouldering a pack before starting a road march.)
  • v. Of a person: To make a grunt or grunts.
  • v. Of a pig: To make a grunt or grunts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A deep, guttural sound, as of a hog.
  • n. Any one of several species of American food fishes, of the genus Hæmulon, allied to the snappers, as, the black grunt (A. Plumieri), and the redmouth grunt (H. aurolineatus), of the Southern United States; -- also applied to allied species of the genera Pomadasys, Orthopristis, and Pristopoma. Called also pigfish, squirrel fish, and grunter; -- so called from the noise it makes when taken.
  • n. A U. S. infantryman; -- used especially of those fighting in the war in Vietnam.
  • transitive v. To make a deep, short noise, as a hog; to utter a short groan or a deep guttural sound.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a guttural noise, as a hog; also, to utter short or broken groans, as from eagerness or over-exertion.
  • n. A deep guttural sound, as that made by a hog.
  • n. A fish of the family Hæmulonidæ, as those of the genera Hœmulon and Orthopristis: so called from the noise they make when hauled out of the water. Also called pig-fish and growler for the same reason. See redmouth.
  • n. Among the various fishes of the genus Hæmulon and family Hæmulidæ, so named, are the following:

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

  • n. medium-sized tropical marine food fishes that utter grunting sounds when caught
  • n. an unskilled or low-ranking soldier or other worker
  • n. the short low gruff noise of the kind made by hogs
  • v. issue a grunting, low, animal-like noise


Middle English grunten, from Old English grunnettan; probably akin to grunnian, to make a loud noise, grunt, of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English grunten, from Old English grunnettan ("to grunt"), from Proto-Germanic *grunnatjanan (“to grunt”), frequentative of Proto-Germanic *grunnōnan (“to grunt”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰrun- (“to shout”). Cognate with German grunzen ("to grunt"), Danish grynte ("to grunt"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • New England: A dessert made by stewing fruit topped with pieces of biscuit dough, which steam as the fruit cooks.

    January 30, 2013

  • “A spoon pie, with biscuit dough on top of stewed fruit, which is steamed, not baked”, Cobbler, Crisp, Crumble, Grunt, Slump—You Get the Picture

    April 6, 2010

  • Generic Respondent and Undertaker of Nonstandard Tasks.

    November 9, 2008