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Grizzly vs. Grisly

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Grisly and grizzly both have different meanings and spellings but they sound exactly same. These types of words are known as homophones and they cause a lot of confusion among native and new English learners alike. Grizzly and grisly are both homophones and many people confuse them for one another. In this article, we will discuss the origin, meaning and usage of both of these words along with everyday examples so next time you have to use one of these words in your writing, you never get confused.

Origin:

Grisly originated from Old English grislic ‘terrifying’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch griezelig. Grizzly originated from mid-16th century (as adjective): from grizzle. The noun dates from the early 19th century.

Grizzly as noun:

Grizzly is a noun used to describe an animal of a large race of the brown bear native to North America.

A grizzly bear approached them.

Grizzly as adjective:

Grizzly is used as an adjective which means grey or grey-haired.

He has a grizzly beard.

Grizzly also means of a child inclined to cry fretfully.

He is not usually a grizzly baby.

Grisly as adjective:

Grisly is used in English language as an adjective to describe nouns which mean causing horror or disgust.

The town was shaken by a series of grisly crimes.

Examples:

Tracy Province told police he meant to overdose on heroin and let Yellowstone National Park grizzlies have him for breakfast. [Mirror]

In a grisly sign that civilians are being targeted, opposition activists reported finding 60 bodies in the landfill of a Damascus suburb. [New York Times]

Brett Keisel’s grizzly beard ‘unleashed Super Bowl power’ [USA Today]

Or maybe she didn’t write it all, because not every state requires disclosure of a home’s grisly history before a sale. [Fox Business]

If we care about keeping grizzly bears alive, perhaps we should worry less about how they die. [The Missoulian]

Grisly or grizzly:

Grizzly means (1) grayish or flecked with gray, and (2) of or relating to the large brown bear native to western North America. It can also be a noun, short for grizzly bear. Grisly means gruesome, ghastly, or inspiring repugnance. There’s also gristly, an adjective used to describe meat with too much cartilage. And there’s grizzled, a synonym of grizzly, usually used to describe scruffy-looking older men. Grizzley is a misspelling.

 

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