cha·​grin | \ shə-ˈgrin How to pronounce chagrin (audio) , British usually ˈsha-grin\

Definition of chagrin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


chagrined\ shə-​ˈgrind How to pronounce chagrined (audio) , British usually  ˈsha-​grind \; chagrining\ shə-​ˈgri-​niŋ How to pronounce chagrining (audio) , British usually  ˈsha-​gri-​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

Rising temperatures and increasing atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations are intensifying pollen seasons, much to the chagrin of allergy sufferers. The Economist, "Alaska’s changing climate," 4 July 2019 Nearly 1,200 people showed up, much to the chagrin of many residents of the neighborhood. Kim Severson, New York Times, "A Naughty Name, a Virtuous Menu and a Line Down the Block," 1 July 2019 European diplomats have pointed to Iran’s one-sided compliance with the deal as justification for their plans to create a trade mechanism with Iran, dubbed Instex, that could bypass U.S. sanctions, much to the chagrin of Washington. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "A future Democratic president may be unable to save the Iran deal," 28 June 2019 The word is also, to the chagrin of grammar nuts, spelled three other ways: Menonimee (the county), Menonomee (the river), and Manoominii (an alternate spelling of the Native American tribe). Jack Mccordick, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "17 words only a true Wisconsinite knows how to pronounce," 19 June 2019 Hilarity ensues; Giertz curses, to the chagrin of her advertisers. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "YouTube's 'Shitty Robot' Queen Made Her Own Tesla Pickup Truck," 18 June 2019 Bevin announced in January that state Sen. Ralph Alvarado would be his running mate, much to the chagrin of tea party Hampton supporters. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "The firing of Lt. Gov. Hampton's aide has sparked a GOP civil war in Kentucky. Here's how," 17 June 2019 Pompey took credit for the victory and received another triumph, much to the chagrin of Crassus, who was given an ovatio (ovation), a lesser celebration with fewer honors. Andrea Frediani, National Geographic, "Money was not enough for Crassus, the richest man in Rome," 11 June 2019 The audits, done by activists, test constitutional rights often by photographing or recording video in public spaces like inside police stations and government buildings, often to the chagrin of law enforcement. Deanna Boyd, star-telegram, "She recorded herself pulling up YouTube on a Tarrant County computer. Now she’s in jail," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Amazon made the news of the pullout public on Thursday, leaving Mr. Cuomo and the deal’s other biggest supporter, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, stunned and chagrined. Katie Honan, WSJ, "Amazon’s New York Project Foundered on Labor Organizing, Opposition to Subsidies," 16 Feb. 2019 Harriman was chagrined over a minor federal criminal case under way at that time. Thomas J. Baker, WSJ, "What Barr Knows About Firing an FBI Head," 14 Jan. 2019 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

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

Noun and Verb

French, from chagrin sad

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Statistics for chagrin

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce chagrin (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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