Leonardo   Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:19 am GMT
"When the show made its debut in 1984, Mr. Johnson was a has-been — or never-quite-was — movie star, which helped give his character a grizzled, disappointed element of soulfulness."

The following definition would apply for the word "grizzled" in the sentence above?

(especially of a young child) to cry continually but not very loudly, or to complain all the time:
The baby was cutting a tooth and grizzled all day long.
They're always grizzling (= complaining) about how nobody invites them anywhere.
Pabz   Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:52 pm GMT
Grizzled can mean "disheveled" or "rough-around-the-edges". In the above sentence, the meaning would be more like "rough-around-the-edges".
Leonardo   Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:58 am GMT
Thank you Pabz.
Uriel   Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:56 am GMT
I've never, ever heard the definition you cited, Leonardo.
Leonardo   Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:42 pm GMT
It's from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
Uriel   Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:38 am GMT
Look it up again.

This is the definition the CALD gives for "grizzled":

adjective LITERARY
having hair that is grey or becoming grey:
Grizzled veterans in uniform gathered at the war monument.

It's the same in the American Heritage Dictionary:

griz·zle (grzl)
tr. & intr.v. griz·zled, griz·zling, griz·zles
To make or become gray.


The color of a grizzled animal.
A grizzled animal.
Archaic.. Gray hair.


[From Middle English grisel, gray, from Old French, diminutive of gris, gray. See grisaille.]
j   Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:52 am GMT

Function: verb

transitive verb : to make grayish
intransitive verb
2 : to become grayish
Uriel   Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:12 am GMT
That first definition is unknown to me. I suspect it's specific to a certain area or dialect. Not mine, though. Grizzled as in graying is the only one I know. That's where the grizzly bear gets its name.
Leonardo   Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:19 am GMT
Yes, Uriel. I've found the definition you've just written, but do you think it is the right definition for the sentence I first cited?
todosmentira   Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:35 pm GMT
Leonardo - you're confusing verbs and adjectives.
In the sentence you give 'grizzled' is an adjective.
Lazar   Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:05 pm GMT
Okay, the CALD does give the first definition - the one cited by Leonardo - for the verb "[to] grizzle". That said, I've never heard of this definition before.

The definition of "grizzled", as used in the sentence in question, is this one: , which is the one that Uriel gave.
Leonardo   Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:02 pm GMT
Lazar, the point is:

The text I cited refers to Don Johnson (the onetime Miami Vice star).
I don't think he had grey hair in the eighties when the program was shot. (

That said, I believe Pabz was right when he said: "Grizzled can mean "disheveled" or "rough-around-the-edges"."
j   Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:16 pm GMT
Below is an article from Urban Dictionary:
<1. Grizzled

Worse than grundy. The result of being exposed to something terrible for a long period of time and having the results show through your appearance and state of mind.

Mainly used when referring to a sailor.

I met the most grizzled harbor master in Maine.>
Lazar   Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:08 pm GMT
<<That said, I believe Pabz was right when he said: "Grizzled can mean "disheveled" or "rough-around-the-edges".">>

That's true. Quite often (maybe even most of the time), "grizzled" is used in that broader sense.