Etymology
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grit (n.)

Old English greot "sand, dust, earth, gravel," from Proto-Germanic *greutan "tiny particles of crushed rock" (source also of Old Saxon griot, Old Frisian gret, Old Norse grjot "rock, stone," German Grieß "grit, sand"), from PIE *ghreu- "rub, grind" (source also of Lithuanian grūdas "corn, kernel," Old Church Slavonic gruda "clod"). Sense of "pluck, spirit, firmness of mind" first recorded American English, 1808.

If he hadn't a had the clear grit in him, and showed teeth and claws, they'd a nullified him so, you wouldn't have see'd a grease spot of him no more. [Thomas Chandler Haliburton, "Sam Slick in England," 1843]

grit (v.)

"make a grating sound," 1762, probably from grit (n.). Meaning "to grate, grind" is from 1797. Related: Gritted; gritting.

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Definitions of grit
1
grit (v.)
cover with a grit;
grit roads
grit (v.)
clench together;
grit one's teeth
2
grit (n.)
a hard coarse-grained siliceous sandstone;
Synonyms: gritrock / gritstone
grit (n.)
fortitude and determination;
Synonyms: backbone / guts / moxie / sand / gumption
From wordnet.princeton.edu