Origin of gruesomefrom dialect, dialectal grue, to shudder ( from Middle English gruwen, akin to Middle High German from Indo-European base an unverified form ?hreu-, to grind down from source grit) + -some
An example of something that would be described as gruesome is a violent murder scene.
Origin of gruesomeObsolete grue to shudder ( from Middle English gruen ) ( from Middle Dutch grūwen ) ( or Middle Low German gruwen ) -some 1
(comparative gruesomer or more gruesome, superlative gruesomest or most gruesome)
Compare Danish and Norwegian grusom (“horrible”), German grausam (“cruel”).
- When he opened his eyes, he found a gruesome sight awaiting him.
- That's a gruesome thought—and disappointing, too.
- While the Deans were pleased that Martha had confided in them about her gruesome discovery, her pending exit remained an ever-present pall that hung over the remainder of the evening like a chilly fog.
- That returns from the bottomless pit, "that was, and is not, and yet is"; the head "as it were wounded to death" that lives again; the gruesome similitude of the Lamb that was slain, and his adversary in the final struggle.
- In his gruesome descriptions of physical sufferings the author offends against good taste even more than the writer of 2 Macc., while both contrast very unfavourably in this respect with the sober reserve of the gospel narratives.