A grizzly is a large North American species of bear also known as a silvertip bear. When you go camping and hiking in the western United States, park rangers might teach you what to do if you see a grizzly.

The grizzly bear's formal Latin name, Ursus arctos horribilis, came from confusion between grizzly and grisly, or "horrible." Grizzly bears are known for being solitary and having brown fur tipped in white or gray. The adjective grizzly probably arose from these "grizzled" or gray-colored hairs, since it describes appearing aged or old, especially because of graying hair.

Definitions of grizzly
  1. noun
    powerful brownish-yellow bear of the uplands of western North America
  2. adjective
    showing characteristics of age, especially having grey or white hair
    synonyms: gray, gray-haired, gray-headed, grey, grey-haired, grey-headed, hoar, hoary, white-haired
    (used especially of persons) having lived for a relatively long time or attained a specific age
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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