adjective, gross·er, gross·est.

  1. without deductions; total, as the amount of sales, salary, profit, etc., before taking deductions for expenses, taxes, or the like (opposed to net2): gross earnings; gross sales.
  2. unqualified; complete; rank: a gross scoundrel.
  3. flagrant and extreme: gross injustice.
  4. indelicate, indecent, obscene, or vulgar: gross remarks.
  5. lacking in refinement, good manners, education, etc.; unrefined.
  6. large, big, or bulky.
  7. extremely or excessively fat.
  8. thick; dense; heavy: gross vegetation.
  9. of or concerning only the broadest or most general considerations, aspects, etc.
  10. Slang. extremely objectionable, offensive, or disgusting: He wore an outfit that was absolutely gross.

noun, plural gross for 11, gross·es for 12, 13.

  1. a group of 12 dozen, or 144, things. Abbreviation: gro.
  2. total income from sales, salary, etc., before any deductions (opposed to net2def 5).
  3. Obsolete. the main body, bulk, or mass.

verb (used with object)

  1. to have, make, or earn as a total before any deductions, as of taxes, expenses, etc.: The company grossed over three million dollars last year.

Verb Phrases

  1. gross out, Slang.
    1. to disgust or offend, especially by crude language or behavior.
    2. to shock or horrify.


  1. repellently or excessively fat or bulky
  2. with no deductions for expenses, tax, etc; totalgross sales; gross income Compare net 2 (def. 1)
  3. (of personal qualities, tastes, etc) conspicuously coarse or vulgar
  4. obviously or exceptionally culpable or wrong; flagrantgross inefficiency
  5. lacking in perception, sensitivity, or discriminationgross judgments
  6. (esp of vegetation) dense; thick; luxuriant
  7. obsolete coarse in texture or quality
  8. rare rude; uneducated; ignorant

interjection slang

  1. an exclamation indicating disgust


  1. plural gross a unit of quantity equal to 12 dozen
  2. plural grosses
    1. the entire amount
    2. the great majority

verb (tr)

  1. to earn as total revenue, before deductions for expenses, tax, etc

mid-14c., “large;” early 15c., “coarse, plain, simple,” from Old French gros “big, thick, fat, tall, pregnant; coarse, rude, awkward; ominous, important; arrogant” (11c.), from Late Latin grossus “thick, coarse (of food or mind),” of obscure origin, not in classical Latin. Said to be unrelated to Latin crassus, which meant the same thing, or to German gross “large,” but said by Klein to be cognate with Old Irish bres, Middle Irish bras “big.” Its meaning forked in English to “glaring, flagrant, monstrous” (1580s) on the one hand and “entire, total, whole” (early 15c.) on the other. Meaning “disgusting” is first recorded 1958 in U.S. student slang, from earlier use as an intensifier of unpleasant things (gross stupidity, etc.). Earlier “coarse in behavior or manners” (1530s) and, of things, “inferior, common” (late 15c.). Gross national product first recorded 1947.


“a dozen dozen,” early 15c., from Old French grosse douzaine “large dozen;” see gross (adj.). Earlier as the name of a measure of weight equal to one-eighth of a dram (early 15c.). Sense of “total profit” (opposed to net) is from 1520s.


“to earn a total of,” 1884, from gross (n.). Related: Grossed; grossing.

  1. American surgeon and educator who wrote widely influential medical treatises, including A System of Surgery (1859).

Exclusive of deductions, prior to taxation, as in gross income. (Compare net.) Total, aggregate, as in gross domestic product.

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