Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to grim: Grimm, NBC
hang on like grim death
To clutch something very tightly, usually to prevent one from falling. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. After the ladder tipped over, I hung on like grim death so that I didn't fall off the roof.
paint a (some kind of) picture of (something)
To give an elaborate or detailed description of something that portrays it in a specific way. The board meeting painted a pretty grim picture of the company's future. Jonathan always paints an idyllic picture of our childhood, glossing over the bad memories we had of our father.
Death, as personified by a cloaked, scythe-wielding man or skeleton. She's been in three really terrible car accidents but has miraculously avoided the Grim Reaper.
Fig. death. I think I have a few years to go yet before the grim reaper pays me a call.
like grim deathmainly BRITISH
If you hold onto something like grim death, you hold onto it very tightly. I clung to the chain like grim death.
the Grim Reaper
The Grim Reaper is an imaginary character who represents death. He looks like a skeleton, wears a long, black cloak with a hood, and carries a scythe (= tool for cutting grass). By giving away assets while still alive, inheritance tax can be avoided entirely by the time the Grim Reaper calls. They were sitting around, waiting for the Grim Reaper.
like (or for) grim deathwith intense determination.
1989 Jonathan Gash Jade Woman Here and there a greenish scumble of vegetation hung on for grim death.
the Grim Reapera personification of death in the form of a cloaked skeleton wielding a large scythe.
hang on/hold on (to somebody/something) like grim ˈdeathhold somebody/something very tightly, usually because you are afraid or determined not to let go: As the horse galloped off, you could see poor Sarah hanging on like grim death. ♢ The robbers tried to steal my bag, but I held on to it like grim death.
The word grim (= very serious or unpleasant) is often used to describe death.