12th century, in the meaning defined above
Middle English, alteration of grinnen to grin, snarl
Keep scrolling for more
Time Traveler for girn
See more words from the same century
From the Editors at Merriam-Webster
The History of 'Girn'
'Girn' began as a spelling variant of 'grin', but quickly took on a meaning of its own
Cite this Entry
“Girn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/girn. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Farm Idioms Quiz
Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.
A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
Top 10 Latin Phrases
Top 10 Funny-Sounding & Interesting Words
Courtesy of writer Emily Ogden
Why does this season have two different names?
A simple trick to keep them separate
How 'literally' can mean "figuratively"
How to use a word that (literally) drives some pe...
The awkward case of 'his or her'
A tricky quiz about soundalike words
Take the quiz
How many animals can you identify?
Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something a...
Play the game