Etymology
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gruel (n.)

late 12c., "meal or flour made of beans, lentils, etc.," from Old French gruel "fine meal" (Modern French gruau), a diminutive form from Frankish *grut or another Germanic source, cognate with Middle Dutch grute "coarse meal, malt;" Middle High German gruz "grain," from PIE *ghreu- "to rub, grind" (see grit (n.)). Meaning "thin porridge or soup" is late 14c.

updated on April 24, 2015

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Definitions of gruel from WordNet

gruel (n.)
a thin porridge (usually oatmeal or cornmeal);
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.