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noun cha·grin \shə-ˈgrin\

Simple Definition of chagrin

  • : a feeling of being frustrated or annoyed because of failure or disappointment

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of chagrin

  1. :  disquietude or distress of mind caused by humiliation, disappointment, or failure

Examples of chagrin in a sentence

  1. As many a woman has learned to her chagrin, pathological liars are brilliant at deception. —Katha Pollitt, Nation, 16 June 2003

  2. In World War I, to his chagrin, Eisenhower again found himself on the sidelines, performing training duties stateside while Pershing, MacArthur, and Patton earned their battle ribbons. —U.S. News & World Report, 16 Mar. 1998

  3. In 1628, to the chagrin of Governor William Bradford, the Pilgrims erected an 80-foot Maypole, danced around it, drank beer, and sang. —E. C. Krupp, Sky & Telescope, May 1994

  4. Imagine my chagrin when a whiz kid from Dayton made all A's in the first quarter while I made two B's and a C+. —John Hope Franklin, Race and History, 1989

  5. The fact that he'd been unable to attend the funeral was a source of chagrin for Ted.

  6. She had gained five pounds over the winter, much to her chagrin.

  7. He decided to get a tattoo, to the chagrin of his parents.

Did You Know?

Chagrin comes from French, in which it means "grief," "sorrow," or essentially the same thing as our "chagrin," and in which it is also an adjective meaning "sad." Some etymologists have linked this "chagrin" with another French chagrin, meaning "rough leather or "rough skin." Supposedly, the rough leather used to rub, polish, or file became a metaphor in French for agitating situations. English-speakers have also adopted the leathery "chagrin" into our language but have altered the spelling to "shagreen."

Origin of chagrin

French, from chagrin sad

First Known Use: circa 1681



verb cha·grin \shə-ˈgrin\

Definition of chagrin

chagrined play \-ˈgrind\ chagrining play \-ˈgri-niŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to vex or unsettle by disappointing or humiliating <he was chagrined to learn that his help was not needed>

Origin of chagrin

(see 1chagrin)

First Known Use: 1733

CHAGRIN Defined for Kids


noun cha·grin \shə-ˈgrin\

Definition of chagrin for Students

  1. :  a feeling of being annoyed by failure or disappointment <… curiosity soon overcame any chagrin he felt at not being allowed to pass the doorway. — Brian Jacques, Redwall>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up chagrin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


expressing little or no emotion

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