cha·​grin | \shə-ˈgrin \

Definition of chagrin 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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


cha·​grin | \shə-ˈgrin \
chagrined\-​ˈgrind \; chagrining\-​ˈgri-​niŋ \

Definition of chagrin (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to vex or unsettle by disappointing or humiliating he was chagrined to learn that his help was not needed

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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."

Examples of chagrin in a Sentence


As many a woman has learned to her chagrin, pathological liars are brilliant at deception. — Katha Pollitt, Nation, 16 June 2003 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 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 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 The fact that he'd been unable to attend the funeral was a source of chagrin for Ted. She had gained five pounds over the winter, much to her chagrin. He decided to get a tattoo, to the chagrin of his parents.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Animals that frequent the area include: Javelinas: Packs of these pig-like creatures can be spotted crossing the road or munching on prickly pear cacti, to the chagrin of Scottsdale gardeners. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "A Desert Home Design Inspired by Paperweights," 8 Nov. 2018 The president has also supported a transgender ban in the US military, to the chagrin of some seasoned military veterans. Dylan Scott, Vox, "White evangelicals turned out for the GOP in big numbers again," 7 Nov. 2018 Windows 10 has also promoted a number of third-party applications such as Candy Crush Saga to the chagrin of many. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Microsoft making more of the Windows 10 built-in apps removable," 18 Oct. 2018 As with virtually every high court nominee in the modern era, Kavanaugh has assiduously avoided taking positions on issues that could come before him as a justice or other current-events controversies, often to the chagrin of the minority party. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Kavanaugh questioning enters final stretch, as Dems seem to lay traps," 6 Sep. 2018 That can lead to highly controversial images remaining online, to the chagrin of groups and minorities. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Online activists flood Google search results for ‘idiot’ with images of Trump," 20 July 2018 The real Churchill, sometimes to his chagrin, was painted to look much like a joyless bulldog, with squinted eyes and a protruding lower lip. Katie Rogers, New York Times, "British Roll Out Trump’s Political Idol: Winston Churchill," 12 July 2018 Over at casa de Sam, Justine is settling in — much to his chagrin. Kathryn Lindsay,, "R29 Binge Club: Glow Season 2, Episodes 1-10," 29 June 2018 Much to their chagrin, however, all had been removed in preparation for a wedding. Leah Garchik,, "San Rafael Pacifics’ personal tribute to fatherhood," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many were also chagrined by the fact that Collins, a woman and an ostensibly moderate Republican, cast her vote for Kavanaugh. Anna North, Vox, "The #MeToo movement and its evolution, explained," 9 Oct. 2018 They have been particularly chagrined by his circumspect attitude toward special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of potential ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives during the campaign. Washington Post,, "Gerard Baker replaced as editor of Wall Street Journal," 5 June 2018 Lawler was impressed by the Ramones' farming know-how and chagrined by the loss of their 5-acre livelihood. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Nation's largest urban farm nears opening in Fishers with a little help from Puerto Rico," 22 May 2018 People with disabilities and advocates for disability rights have been particularly chagrined by one image making the rounds on social media: an upright man silhouetted against a backdrop of stars, with an empty wheelchair in the foreground. Jessica Roy,, "Erasing Stephen Hawking's disability erases an important part of who he was," 16 Mar. 2018 Free-trade advocates in the U.S., however, were chagrined at the split-screen image of Washington’s allies signing a new trade pact while the American president unveils new tariffs. William Mauldin, WSJ, "Pacific Trade Pact Sets Sail Without the U.S. on Board," 8 Mar. 2018 There were announcement stunners, artful baseball cap reveals, apparent intra-family discord, flips that thrilled one program’s supporters and chagrined another’s. Chris Johnson,, "National Signing Day 2018: Winners and Losers From the Fax Machine Frenzy," 7 Feb. 2018 Other investment banks based in Moscow were chagrined and suspected that Deutsche owed its success to its alliance with Russian state interests. Luke Harding, Newsweek, "Is Donald Trump’s Dark Russian Secret Hiding in Deutsche Bank’s Vaults?," 21 Dec. 2017 Many in the foreign policy establishment were chagrined at Kushner’s comments to a group of congressional interns on July 31. Tracy Wilkinson,, "Kushner heads to Israel for latest attempt at peace deal," 22 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chagrin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chagrin


circa 1681, in the meaning defined above


1733, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chagrin


French, from chagrin sad


see chagrin entry 1

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Statistics for chagrin

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chagrin

The first known use of chagrin was circa 1681

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More Definitions for chagrin



English Language Learners Definition of chagrin

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


cha·​grin | \shə-ˈgrin \

Kids Definition of chagrin

: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on chagrin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chagrin

Spanish Central: Translation of chagrin

Nglish: Translation of chagrin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chagrin for Arabic Speakers

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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