Is grossingly a word? If not what's the closest alternative? Example sentence:

The grumpy man stared at the couple, who were being grossingly sweet to each other.

  • Did you bother to check a dictionary?
    – Kat
    Mar 12 '18 at 23:50

I’ve never encountered any references that suggest that grossingly can be viewed as a legitimate construction. In every similar context to your proposed use that I’ve seen, either sickeningly or disgustingly has been used.

I’m guessing that you derived your example from the phrase gross out, which is slang for disgust (as used as a verb), with some intensification that normally can’t easily be expressed.

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    I'm sure you're right that OP's example is a (failed?) attempt to "adverbialize" the phrasal verb to gross out. As a native speaker I probably wouldn't even attempt to do that, but it seems to me you could (almost?) get away with it so long as you retain the preposition. So even though gross-outingly sweet behaviour looks pretty awkward, it's at least syntactically credible. Mar 11 '18 at 15:19
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    ... apropos which I just found this reference to despite stats about throw-uppingly high tuition and the sometimes inferior teaching-abilities of professors. Where the writer is clearly a competent articulate native speaker, even though it looks like he's missed out the word fees after tuition. So the short answer for OP here is "Don't try this at home" (but if you must, at least preserve the preposition! :) Mar 11 '18 at 15:22
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    @FumbleFingers - Are you a native speaker of English? You keep making comments about omitted words and non-obvious grammar errors that directly contradict the common actual usages you're commenting on - in this particular case, omitting fees after tuition is so common that many people will think that including it is wrong and redundant. I also question the competence of the author of that sentence; teaching abilities should not be hyphenated. Mar 11 '18 at 15:51
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    The "tuition (fees)" issue might be a US/UK difference--in the US, "tuition" virtually always means "fees paid for schooling" rather than the schooling itself, which I believe is the main definition in the UK. ODO
    – 1006a
    Mar 11 '18 at 18:49
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    @FumbleFingers Things like "throw-uppingly" are classic nonce words, which in the case of "throw-uppingly" have found somewhat more widespread (>1 occasion) usage because people find them funny in the similar vein that people use "Long time no see". Learners should not be encouraged to coin similar things because they have no (or limited) feel for language, and their nonce words will not find acceptance in the same way that a quirk of a competent English writer would. I see a repeated theme of extreme linguistic laissez-faire in your contributions, and I don't find this helpful for learners. Mar 11 '18 at 19:51

The correct term is grossly.

  1. In a disgusting or coarse manner; vulgarly.

    ‘do you have one cookie, or grossly eat the whole package?’

-- Oxford Dictionaries

However, this word is not often used in this sense (or at least I haven't heard it being used like this very often), so I would choose disgustingly or something similar.

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    Straightforward and accurate. I don't find the choice of using grossly in the OP's sample sentence to be awkward or unusual at all.
    – person27
    Mar 12 '18 at 1:17

Let's look at disgustingly:

  • Disgust - a word that means "to make sick, typically through senses." You might say This disgusts me.

  • Disgusting - while it's possible to say something like Disgusting me terribly, I left the trash dump, this particular "-ing" word is common to use as a modifier or copular subject complement. The disgusting trash dump was abhorrent, I found her hair disgusting.

  • You can typically add -ly to words that modify nouns to turn them into words that modify verbs. Hence, disgustingly: That cat disgustingly ate the roadkill in the street.

Now, let's take gross:

  • Gross has two meanings. One is "to have a profit of X after doing something, especially working a job for a time" - I grossed 20,000 dollars last year.

  • The other meaning is to be disgusting. This is gross.

  • Gross as a verb does NOT mean to be disgusting - there is the phrasal variation gross out that does work that way though. This grosses me out.

  • Because gross (meaning disgusting) isn't really a verb, deriving a gerund/participle from it doesn't work too well. Grossing me terribly, I left the trash drump (fails) - but Grossing me out terribly, I left the trash dump (does mostly work).

  • Grossing would not be one of those -ing words that works to modify a noun. I tried to avoid the grossing trash heap (sounds like the "profit" meaning of gross is trying to be intended and that the trash heap is becoming bigger).

    You can't use gross out in this way either. I tried to avoid the grossing out trash heap (sounds like you are trying to say "I tried to avoid grossing out the trash heap").

  • Thus grossingly doesn't technically work.

However ...

At least the region and time I grew up in within the US, the idea of things being called gross is something children that are not yet teenagers do. Especially with respect to young boys and their stereotypical thoughts of young girls (cooties and all that). "Boys think kissing girls is 'gross'" type of thing.

So grossingly could invoke that type of thought in respect to someone else's PDA, and if that's what the writer is trying to convey, it's a well-chosen "intentional twist" of the language.

But don't try using that term unless you are a professional writer or trying to convey that type of thought/impression/mood, etc.

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    "Gross" has many more meanings than two - for example, "before tax", or "one hundred and forty four".
    – psmears
    Mar 12 '18 at 11:11

In the specific context, you could use "cloyingly"

disgusting or distasteful by reason of excess cloying sweetness;
also : excessively sweet or sentimental. e.g. a cloying romantic comedy
— cloyingly adverb

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