Grisly vs. grizzly

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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.


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]