Having a harsh, severe, or threatening quality or appearance; having a menacing or forbidding aspect.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



serious, solemn, dire, bleak, cheerless, dour


cheerful, joyful, happy, lively, bright, lighthearted

Example sentences

  • The news of the disaster was grim and depressing.
  • The city was shrouded in a grim fog that obscured the skyline.
  • The prospect of a long, cold winter made him feel grim.


“Grim” is an adjective used to describe a situation, an event, or a person that is characterized by severe unpleasantness, harshness, or pessimism. It suggests an atmosphere of sorrow, difficulty, or danger, and often implies a lack of hope or optimism. People who are described as grim may seem somber, serious, or even hostile, and may not be approachable or friendly. The word is often used to describe situations that are perceived as negative, undesirable, or oppressive, and can evoke feelings of unease, fear, or sadness in those who experience them