Cyclic fatigue crack growth behaviour in alumina ceramics is investigated and the effect of grain size discussed. Special attention is given to crack closure effects. Cyclic fatigue tests were carried out using four-point bend specimens, and the load-strain and load-differential strain curves were monitored. These curves show hysteretic behaviour probably related to frictional sliding of bridging grains, and also include non-linearities due to crack closure. The crack opening load is determined from the load-differential strain curve by using a method introduced in this study. Growth rates can be successfully described by the relationship da/dN = C[Delta K-eff/(1 - K-max/K-1C)](m) which is proposed in this study to account for the effects of crack closure and the maximum stress intensity factor. Irrespective of grain size, growth rates can be well represented by the above relationship, implying that the grain size exerts an influence on growth rates not only because of crack closure behaviour but also the material fracture toughness. The growth rate curve based on the proposed relationship shows a sigmoidal form for ceramic materials, which is similar to metals.