\ ˈchin How to pronounce chin (audio) \
plural chins

Definition of chin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the lower portion of the face lying below the lower lip and including the prominence of the lower jaw
2 : the surface beneath or between the branches of the lower jaw

— see also take it on the chin


chinned; chinning

Definition of chin (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bring to or hold with the chin chin a violin
2 : to raise (oneself) while hanging by the hands until the chin is level with the support

intransitive verb

slang : to talk idly

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Other Words from chin


chinless \ ˈchin-​ləs How to pronounce chin (audio) \ adjective

Examples of chin in a Sentence

Verb the kind of work environment in which staffers can knock off early on Friday and chin with the boss
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At almost exactly the same time, a man standing outside near the northwest corner of the Capitol — middle-aged, professorial-looking with glasses and a face mask dangling below his chin — speaks into his camera for a sober-minded report on the day. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, "Inside the Capitol Riot: What the Parler Videos Reveal," 17 Jan. 2021 At his most handsome in that era, with faraway eyes and a dimpled chin, Olivier represents the passion that Cathy (Merle Oberon) is drawn to — but turns away from out of social cowardice., "Celebrate romance with these movies," 4 Feb. 2021 His laptop camera points slightly up toward his chin, which accents his sharp cheekbones and delicate nose. New York Times, "The Many Lives of Steven Yeun," 3 Feb. 2021 An ushanka hat is similar to a trapper but the flaps are designed to be tied up at the top and underneath the chin. Carsen Joenk, Popular Science, "Best winter hats: Comfortable hats to keep you warm," 20 Jan. 2021 The bullet grazed the officer’s chin, and lodged in his shoulder. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "District attorney says West Jordan officer justified in killing a 17-year-old," 18 Dec. 2020 Autopsies confirmed that Long shot himself through the chin, penetrating his brain. Stephanie Lai, Los Angeles Times, "Ventura County district attorney’s office releases new details on Borderline mass shooting," 17 Dec. 2020 The album received a cover update in May to the surprise of many fans, changing the up-to-the-chin lacy head shot look to a full-body shot set in a desert oasis, complete with chains and a gold-leaf bikini. Natalie Oganesyan,, "Britney Spears drops previously unreleased song, ‘Swimming in the Stars,’ for her birthday," 2 Dec. 2020 As senators debated, Trump took it on the chin from longtime critics like Mitt Romney, R-Utah. Andrew Taylor,, "Somber Senate unites to reject election challenges," 7 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Staying in my car, I was instructed to put both hands on the wheel, close my eyes and tilt my head back and chin up. Janet Kusterer,, "A month of wizards and merriment on Main Street in Ellicott City | Mostly Main," 7 Oct. 2020 In other words, chin up, shoulders back, and bring your heart and soul forward. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "From Rachel Weld Newton, Jewelry That Speaks to Our Times," 25 Sep. 2020 Preliminary injunctions are extraordinary forms of relief and there is a very high bar to chin to receive one. John Lynch, Arkansas Online, "Decision in Rx-pot case sides with state," 8 Aug. 2020 When the public speaker inside me had to step down due to lack of opportunity, the writer in me stood, arms stiffly at her sides with hands in fists, chin up, and ready to work. Stephanie Land, Longreads, "Grieving, but Calmed by a Different Kind of Storm," 24 Apr. 2020 For his part, Arizona’s Miller has embraced a jut-chinned bellicosity. Michael Powell, New York Times, "At Arizona, Truth Without the Consequences," 2 Mar. 2020 Theo was of average height, late middle-aged, stubble-chinned, with kind, almond eyes. Ishion Hutchinson, Harper's Magazine, "Dreams of Stone," 30 Mar. 2020 The magazine covers are photographed artfully chin-down, so Rachel Karten started taking photos of staffers around the office completing the cover with their own faces. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "A Beefy Stir-Fry That Requires Only the Laziest Knifework," 19 Oct. 2019 In the Bay Area, and particularly in Contra Costa County, six hummingbird species are regular visitors to our backyard feeders — the Costa’s, Anna’s, Calliope, Allen’s, rufous and black-chinned. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Identifying hummingbirds that visit Bay Area backyards," 26 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chin.' 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 chin


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1869, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for chin


Middle English, from Old English cinn; akin to Old High German kinni chin, Latin gena cheek, Greek genys jaw, cheek

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Time Traveler for chin

Time Traveler

The first known use of chin was before the 12th century

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Statistics for chin

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for chin



English Language Learners Definition of chin

: the part of the face below the mouth and above the neck


\ ˈchin How to pronounce chin (audio) \

Kids Definition of chin

: the part of the face below the mouth and including the point of the lower jaw


\ ˈchin How to pronounce chin (audio) \

Medical Definition of chin

: the lower portion of the face lying below the lower lip and including the prominence of the lower jaw

called also mentum

Other Words from chin

chinless \ -​ləs How to pronounce chin (audio) \ adjective

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