Other forms: grisliest; grislier

Grisly means disgusting and bloody, absolutely repulsive and horrible. There’s a wonderfully creepy movie about a man who suffers a grisly death at the hands of the grizzly bears he was studying.

Do you like grisly horror movies? You might think that the reason the word grisly is so creepy, gruesome, and terrifying is somehow related to gristle, those really nasty tough parts you find in meat. But no, this is not the case. Old English grislic, the root of the word, means "horrible, dreadful." If something is gory and gross, it’s grisly.

Definitions of grisly
  1. adjective
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
    synonyms: ghastly, grim, gruesome, macabre, sick
    frightening because of an awareness of danger
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Commonly confused words

grisly / gristly / grizzly

Blood, guts, and man-eaters, oh my! Faint of heart turn back now! Grisly means relating to horror or disgust, gristly means related to gristle or cartilage, and grizzly is a big ol' bear. That can eat you.

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