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A grievance (from Latin gravis 'heavy') is a wrong or hardship suffered, real or supposed, which forms legitimate grounds of complaint. In the past, the word meant the infliction or cause of hardship.[1]

History and politics[edit]

The revolt of English barons in the early thirteenth century, which led to Magna Carta in 1215, was partly motivated by grievances against abuses by King John. This right to petition the king, for grievances, was affirmed in the Bill of Rights 1689.

The United States Declaration of Independence is mainly an enumeration of the colonists' grievances against King George III.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Definition of 'grievance'". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 21 January 2019.