grim

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Related to grimness: Reemerge, take advantage, misattributed

Grim Reaper

Death, as personified by a cloaked man or skeleton carrying a scythe. She's been in three really terrible car accidents but has miraculously avoided the Grim Reaper.
See also: grim, reaper

hang on like grim death

To clutch something very tightly, usually to avoid 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.
See also: death, grim, hang, like, on

hang on to (someone or something) like grim death

To clutch someone or something very tightly, usually to avoid falling. After the ladder tipped over, I hung on to the roof like grim death so that I didn't fall.
See also: death, grim, hang, like, on

hold on to (someone or something) like grim death

To clutch someone or something very tightly, usually to avoid falling. After the ladder tipped over, I held on to the roof like grim death so that I didn't fall.
See also: death, grim, hold, like, on

it's grim up north

cliché An adage that life in Northern England is greatly inferior to that in the South. A: "The company wants me to relocate to the branch in Middlesbrough, but I'm not sure I want to go." B: "Can't say I blame you. It's grim up north."
See also: grim, north, up

like grim death

With a very tight, intense, and determined grip. After the ladder tipped over, I hung onto the edge of the roof like grim death. Even on the sheerest of cliff faces, there are still small animals and bits of vegetation clung like grim death.
See also: death, grim, like

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 of our father.
See also: kind, of, paint, picture
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

grim reaper

Fig. death. I think I have a few years to go yet before the grim reaper pays me a call.
See also: grim, reaper
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

like grim death

mainly BRITISH
If you hold onto something like grim death, you hold onto it very tightly. I clung to the chain like grim death.
See also: death, grim, like

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.
See also: grim, reaper
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

like (or for) grim death

with intense determination.
1989 Jonathan Gash Jade Woman Here and there a greenish scumble of vegetation hung on for grim death.
See also: death, grim, like

the Grim Reaper

a personification of death in the form of a cloaked skeleton wielding a large scythe.
See also: grim, reaper
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hang on/hold on (to somebody/something) like grim ˈdeath

hold 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.
See also: death, grim, hang, hold, like, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

grim reaper, the

Death. This expression is actually a combination of the older grim death, which dates from about 1600, and the artistic depiction of death with a scythe, which began somewhat later. The first appeared in a play by Philip Massinger (1583–1640), The Roman Actor, and also in John Milton’s Paradise Lost (“Before mine eyes in opposition sits Grim Death, my son and foe”). The second appeared in a song from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” and in Longfellow’s poem, “The Reaper and the Flowers” (“There is a Reaper whose name is Death, and, with his sickle keen”), as well as in earlier but more obscure sources.
See also: grim
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
But grimness in India is applied to government and that is appaling.
Moving from the grimness of Chicago's South Side to the Wisconsin hinterlands to seventeenth-century Salem, "Autumn in Carthage' is a story of love, of sacrifice, of terrible passions--and of two wounded souls quietly reaching for the deep peace of sanctuary.
Their merrymaking amidst such grimness is unrealistic.
More Les Battersby than Les Miserables, The Mill's portrayal of the grimness Oop North was hammered home with the same unrelenting momentum as the pistons on one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's very own steam locomotives.
The grimness of the climate is responsible for the grimness of the Pakistani mood.
The grimness and firmness of its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov should substantiate that the foreign ministers of superpowers are useful for their countries' foreign policies.
We'll do other stuff as the week progresses - vandalised playgrounds, post-industrial dereliction, shopping malls, multi-storey car parks, any amount of hardcore, innercity grimness. Is that OK, Phil?' 'It's OK but I'd like more randomness.
Gerecke also lit the set, shifting between a harsh incandescent glare and the shadowy grimness of the dungeon until the end, when the house lights went up during the triumphant finale, as if inviting the audience to help celebrate the happy reunion of Leonore and Florestan.
Wade said it was a strange feeling for him and at first he didn't realize the grimness of the problem.
The prevailing economic grimness reported in the news every day reminds me of the recession of the early 80s; more than the recession of the early 90s.
Her time in power coincided with my formative years and I remember the Tory Government being a time of pretty much unremitting grimness for people in the North East.
So there is a romantic element that helps lighten the grimness of Peter's situation, but which ultimately adds immeasurably to the inherent poetry of his dreams and the thought-stream that is with him night and day and which leads to the catharsis that for the reader makes his suffering ultimately life affirming.
The potential grimness of the subject matter, however, is leavened by Zieroth's injections of wry humour and what the publisher calls an "absurdist twist." Many pieces explicitly relate the content of dreams or take place in the liminal zone between sleep and waking, such as the excellent "Sinking," in which the speaker wakes up and starts sinking through his mattress, down through the foundation of his apartment building, eventually to come "face to face with molten flame, / calling him, undoubtedly calling, though last night / he could not have imagined any such sound." In several poems, reincarnation is touched upon as a possibility (the beautiful title poem is spoken in the voice of a very Zierothesque blue-assed fly).
Compare this to the grimness of the Johns Smith's Cup Saturday, when it is difficult even to get to a Tote booth after the third race because of the need to dodge around prostrate bodies of drunken dimwits.
SO YOU don't fancy the special effects in Harry Potter, or the Hollywood cheese in The Proposal, or even the grimness of Antichrist.