\ 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 Robbie, who has previously been nominated for an Academy Award twice, arrived on the red carpet with fresh new fringe — extra-long eyelash-skimming bangs framed by longer layers that hit between her chin and shoulders. Marci Robin, Allure, "Margot Robbie Debuted Darker Hair and Long Bangs on the 2021 Oscars Red Carpet," 25 Apr. 2021 One juror, a Black man, had his thumb and index finger on his chin and elbow on the desk, appearing contemplative. Eric Ferkenhoff, USA TODAY, "These are some of the key moments leading up to the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict in George Floyd's death," 21 Apr. 2021 Nobody wants to be staring at themselves, focused on that cowlick or wondering whether your concealer is hiding that awful stress pimple on your chin. Ashley Stahl, Forbes, "The 5 Crucial Interview Questions Of 2021 (And How To Answer Them)," 9 Apr. 2021 To best protect yourself and others when playing sports or exercising in places where you're exposed to other people, the CDC recommends wearing a mask that covers both your nose and mouth and fits underneath your chin. Zachary Visconti,, "How to use a cloth face mask while exercising," 3 Apr. 2021 When this happens, Johnston said to tuck your chin to protect your head from injury. Charlotte Walsh, Vulture, "So You’ve Decided to Fall at an Awards Show," 31 Mar. 2021 Lagoke was dehydrated, had three stitches on her chin, but made a full recovery. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee native Ronda Felton, who moved Lionel Richie to tears, eliminated on 'American Idol'," 29 Mar. 2021 Next, top-positioned queen Symone and her bottom half, Olivia Lux, create a daring concoction on the former's face, complete with eye makeup plastered on her chin to accentuate her jawline. Joey Nolfi,, "Bonkers makeovers run amok in new RuPaul's Drag Race first act preview," 24 Mar. 2021 In downtown Indianapolis on Friday morning, fans who did travel here wandered the streets — many with their mask on their chin — for a tournament that in normal times would have left the downtown district teeming with people. New York Times, "N.C.A.A. Tournament: Same Courts, Same Game, New Emptiness," 19 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb During several performances, Cándido even deploys his elbow, forehead and chin onto the congas, to the delight of his audiences. John Edward Hasse, WSJ, "The Driving Beat of Cándido Camero’s Conga," 20 Apr. 2021 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

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on chin

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