a. Deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement, or an instance of this. See Synonyms at regret.
b. A source or cause of deep mental anguish: "That knowledge would be a grief to her" (Tobias Wolff).
a. Annoyance or frustration, or an instance of this: Trying to follow their directions was nothing but grief.
b. Trouble or difficulty, or an instance of this: the griefs of trying to meet a deadline.
c. Informal Criticism or rude talk: gave me a lot of grief about being late.
3. Archaic A grievance.
[Middle English, from Old French, from grever, to harm, aggrieve; see GRIEVE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.