Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The title of the humorous story is "The Sun got stuck"

“I don't suppose you could give us a tow, could you, sister?”

Luna's eyebrows shot up, “How? With what? The sun's 400 times larger than the moon, and even if I could give you a tow, it'd take me 8 light minutes to get there! And besides, I may have lowered it and put a supercharger in, but I'd never have enough grunt to tow it! Sorry, sis, but you're on your own. You can fix it, can't you?”

I tried the usual (Wiktionary, Merriam-Webster, The Free, Dictionary.com) and none of the definitions (foot soldier, sound, menial worker, fish, dessert), seem to match this kind of usage. What does grunt in this context mean?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

From the Oxford Dictionary:

3 [mass noun] British informal mechanical power, especially in a motor vehicle: what the big wagon needs is grunt, and the turbo does the business

Grunt is being used to describe pulling (or towing) capability. I found it in this article relating an entry in a tractor pulling competition:

He says it is about having the tractor with the most grunt, but adds that a lot of skill is also involved.

share|improve this answer
add comment

In this context, grunt means power or force. In the context of engines in general, grunt often refers to the amount of torque that the engine can produce.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.