v. grieved, griev·ing, grieves
1. To cause to be sorrowful; distress: It grieves me to see you in such pain.
2. To mourn or sorrow for: We grieved the death of our pastor.
3. Usage Problem To file an official or formal grievance on account of (an actual or perceived injustice).
4. Archaic To hurt or harm.
To experience or express grief.
[Middle English greven, from Old French grever, to harm, from Latin gravāre, to burden, from gravis, heavy; see gwerə-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: grieve, lament, mourn, sorrow
These verbs mean to feel, show, or express grief, sadness, or regret: grieved over her father's death; lamenting about the decline in academic standards; mourns for lost hopes; sorrowed for a lost friend.
Usage Note: Traditionally, grieve as a transitive verb has meant "to cause to be sorrowful; distress," with its direct object being the person who is sorrowful or distressed, as in It grieves me to see so many homeless in the city. Later, there developed a sense of grieve in which the direct object is that which causes sorrow or distress, as in She took a week off to attend her father's funeral and grieve his loss. In our 2013 survey, 79 percent of the Usage Panel approved of this usage in this sentence, up from 62 percent in our 1996 survey. More recently, grieve has also come to be used to mean "to file an official or formal grievance." This extended sense does not find favor with the Usage Panel. In 2013, only 21 percent found its use in this passage acceptable: Saradnik was asked to resign as coach following complaints by several parents. Because Saradnik has grieved his dismissal, school officials aren't commenting. This usage is relatively uncommon outside of the sphere of labor and management disputes.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus