Grieve vs aggrieve

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Grieve and aggrieve are two words that are close in spelling but have different meanings. They are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of the words grieve and aggrieve, were these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

To grieve means to mourn, to experience sorrow or distress. Most often, grieve is used to mean to mourn the death of someone, but it may also be used to mean to feel acute distress over a situation. Grieve is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are grieves, grieved, grieving. The word grieve is derived from the Latin word gravare which means to burden or make heavy.

To aggrieve means to inflict injury upon, to trouble, to oppress, to distress. Aggrieve is also a transitive verb, related words are aggrieves, aggrieved, aggrieving. Aggrieved is the most often used form, and is usually employed as an adjective to describe a situation in which someone has been treated unfairly.  The word aggrieve is derived from the Latin word aggravare, which means to burden or weigh down.


After two decades of studying grief and working with hundreds of grieving people, I know that my experiences then and now, following the loss of my friends, is normal. (Time Magazine)

Iowa mothers are forming support groups to help each other grieve and advocacy groups to urge action to stop the epidemic. (The Des Moines Register)

Bell was found guilty on 27 of 34 charges against him, which included possession, possession for the purpose of trafficking, administration of bear spray with intent to aggrieve, assault of peace officers with bear spray, possession of prohibited weapons without being the holder of a licence to possess them, possession of a firearm without being the holder of a licence and improperly storing a shotgun. (The Post-Ontario)

Aggrieved stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the December 9, 2017 election have fixed January 22, 2018 for the inauguration of a parallel National Working Committee (NWC). (The Guardian)