- The definition of gruesome is something unpleasant or causing horror.
An example of something that would be described as gruesome is a violent murder scene.
Origin of gruesome; from dialect, dialectal grue, to shudder (; from Middle English gruwen, akin to Middle High German ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ĝhreu-, to grind down from source grit) + -some
Origin of gruesomeObsolete grue, to shudder (from Middle English gruen, from Middle Dutch grūwen or Middle Low German gruwen) + –some1.
(comparative gruesomer or more gruesome, superlative gruesomest or most gruesome)
Compare Danish and Norwegian grusom (“horrible”), German grausam (“cruel”).