Etymology
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grunt (v.)

Old English grunnettan "to grunt," frequentative of grunian "to grunt," probably imitative (compare Danish grynte, Old High German grunnizon, German grunzen "to grunt," French grogner, Latin grunnire "to grunt"). Related: Grunted; grunting. Grunter "a pig" is from 1640s.

grunt (n.)

1550s, from grunt (v.); as a type of fish, from 1713, so called from the noise they make when hauled from the water; meaning "infantry soldier" emerged in U.S. military slang during Vietnam War (first recorded in print 1969); used since 1900 of various low-level workers. Grunt work first recorded 1977.

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Definitions of grunt
1
grunt (n.)
the short low gruff noise of the kind made by hogs;
Synonyms: oink
grunt (n.)
an unskilled or low-ranking soldier or other worker;
infantrymen in Vietnam were called grunts
he went from grunt to chairman in six years
grunt (n.)
medium-sized tropical marine food fishes that utter grunting sounds when caught;
2
grunt (v.)
issue a grunting, low, animal-like noise;
He grunted his reluctant approval
From wordnet.princeton.edu