v. grunt·ed, grunt·ing, grunts
1. To utter a deep guttural sound, as a hog does.
2. To utter a sound similar to a grunt, as in disgust.
To utter or express with a deep guttural sound: He merely grunted his approval.
1. A deep guttural sound.
2. Any of various chiefly tropical marine fishes of the family Haemulidae that produce a grunting sound by rubbing together their pharyngeal teeth.
3. Slang An infantryman, especially in the US Army or Marine Corps: “No one knows the cost of war better than the grunts” (Nathaniel Fick).
4. Slang One who performs routine or mundane tasks.
5. New England A dessert made by stewing fruit topped with pieces of biscuit dough, which steam as the fruit cooks. Also called slump.
[Middle English grunten, from Old English grunnettan; akin to probably akin to grunnian, to make a loud noise, grunt, of imitative origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.