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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Terms like slow food and farm-to-table are commonplace in most major cities these days, either to the delight or chagrin of restaurant goers and bar patrons. Rachel King, Fortune, "Sustainable Cocktails Could Be the Next Big Trend in Bartending," 2 July 2018 The president’s announcement Thursday offered them no reprieve, to the chagrin of William Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. John Flesher, The Seattle Times, "Trump backtracks on call to gut $300M Great Lakes program," 30 Mar. 2019 The K-State coach who had chirped about officiating after Saturday’s loss left his chagrin in Lawrence and had his players ready to face the nation’s No. 4 team. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "K-State corrals Trae Young, college basketball’s shooting star," 17 Jan. 2018 The Haiti policy wasn’t in effect when Barr (and Bush) left office — it was put on hold by an appeals court, much to Barr’s chagrin. Dara Lind, Vox, "William Barr hearing: attorney general nominee’s immigration record aligns with Trump’s," 16 Jan. 2019 Facebook has before complied with government requests to take down content in Vietnam, one of its fastest-growing markets, often to the chagrin of local activists. James Hookway, WSJ, "Facebook on Notice as Vietnam Tightens Grip on Social Media," 9 Jan. 2019 That excludes the big four but just lets in Santander (£315bn), to some challengers’ chagrin. The Economist, "The digital upstarts taking on Britain’s dominant few banks," 15 Feb. 2018 His past study of turkey vultures in Land Park helped explain why hundreds of these huge birds tended to congregate in one location (much to some residents’ chagrin). Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Picky songbirds demand native oaks," 19 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chagrin

Listen to Our Podcast about chagrin

Statistics for chagrin

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chagrin

The first known use of chagrin was circa 1681

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on chagrin

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


a tendency to relapse

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!