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1. containing or resembling grit;
2. courageously persistent : plucky;
3. having strong qualities of tough uncompromising realism.

1. I admire her gritty determination to succeed.
2. “The first child of Johnny, Rosanne may not have her father’s gritty charisma but she shares his sense of truth in music, with a sensuous, poised style all her own.” — From an article by Neil McCormick in the Daily Telegraph (London), February 8, 2014.

“Gritty” comes from “grit” (“small hard granules”), which in turn derives (via Middle English) from the Old English word for “sand” or “gravel.” “Grit” has been around since before the 12th century, but the first appearance of “gritty” in print in English was near the end of the 16th century, when it was used in the sense of “resembling or containing small hard granules.” “Grit” entered American slang in the early 19th century with the meaning “courage or persistence,” and, within about 20 years, “gritty” followed suit with a corresponding “plucky” sense. By the 19th century’s end, “gritty” was also being used to describe a literary style that was rough and coarse.

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