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The male monster, descended from Cain, slain by Beowulf in the Old English epic Beowulf.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(European Myth & Legend) (in Old English legend) a man-eating monster defeated by the hero Beowulf
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈgrɛn dl)

the monster killed by Beowulf in the Old English poem Beowulf.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Within the hall all was gladness, but without on the lone moorland there stalked a grim monster, named Grendel, whose dark heart was filled with anger and hate.
"He, the Grendel, set off then after night was come to seek the lofty house, to see how the Ring Danes had ordered it after the service of beer.
"Then was in the morning twilight, at the breaking of day, Grendel's war-craft revealed to men.
And now far across the sea a brave man of the Goths, Beowulf by name, heard of the doings of Grendel, and he made up his mind to come to the aid of King Hrothgar.
"Then under veils of mist came Grendel from the moor; he bare God's anger.
But Grendel escaped, though wounded to death indeed, and leaving his hand, arm, and shoulder behind in Beowulf's grip.
Grendel indeed was slain, but his mother, an ogre almost as fierce as he, was ready to avenge him.
And when Beowulf heard the mournful tale he comforted the King with brave and kindly words, and quickly he set forth to the dreadful mere, the dwelling of the water-witch, Grendel's mother.
I would not bear sword or weapon against the worm if I knew how else I might proudly grapple with the wretch, as I of old with Grendel did.
It relates, with the usual terse and unadorned power of really primitive poetry, how the hero Beowulf, coming over the sea to the relief of King Hrothgar, delivers him from a monster, Grendel, and then from the vengeance of Grendel's only less formidable mother.
Getting back to the Grendel and Old English, I think it's worth noting that Michael Wood's Story of England on BBC4 recently told the history of Kibworth in Leicestershire and included people reading from medieval documents in the English they imagined was spoken by the people of 1358.
The year 1947 had something to do with Grendel and gore, Grendel's morn, and a dragon (who from all known records was not an immigrant).