To cause to be sorrowful; distress: It grieves me to see you in such pain.
To mourn or sorrow for: We grieved the death of our pastor.
Usage Problem To file an official or formal grievance on account of (an actual or perceived injustice).
Archaic To hurt or harm.
To experience or express grief.
Origin: Middle English greven, from Old French grever, to harm, from Latin gravāre, to burden, from gravis, heavy; see gwerə-1 in Indo-European roots.
Usage Note: Traditionally, the transitive verb grieve, meaning “to cause to be sorrowful; distress,” has taken as its direct object the person who is sorrowful or distressed, as in It grieves me to see so many homeless in the city. In addition to this use of the word, a newer syntactic pattern has developed, in which the direct object refers to that which causes one sorrow or distress. Sixty-two percent of the Usage Panel approves of this use, as in She took a week off to attend her father's funeral and grieve his loss. The Panel, however, largely frowns upon extending the semantic domain of the transitive verb grieve to mean “to file a formal or an official grievance.” Only 14 percent approves of its use in a context in which a coach who was asked to resign had grieved his dismissal. This strong reaction may be due to the discomfort of extending a solemn, mournful term into less somber situations; however, this sense is useful in the context of union-management labor relations.