"to scrape, rub," late 14c. (implied in grated), from Old French grater "to scrape, scratch (out or off); erase; destroy, pull down" (Modern French gratter), from Frankish *kratton, from Proto-Germanic *krattojan (source also of Old High German krazzon "to scratch, scrape," German kratzen "to scratch," Swedish kratta, Danish kratte "to rake, scrape"), probably of imitative origin. Senses of "sound harshly," and "annoy" are mid-16c. Italian grattare also is from Germanic. Related: Grated; grating.