verb (1)
\ˈgrāt \
grated; grating

Definition of grate 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 archaic : abrade

2 : to reduce to small particles by rubbing on something rough grate cheese

3 : fret, irritate

4a : to gnash or grind noisily

b : to cause to make a rasping sound

c : to utter in a harsh voice

intransitive verb

1 : to rub or rasp noisily metal grating against metal

2 : to cause irritation : jar a voice that grates on the nerves



Definition of grate (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a barred frame for cooking over a fire

b : a frame or bed of iron bars to hold a stove or furnace fire

c : fireplace

3 obsolete : cage, prison


verb (2)
grated; grating

Definition of grate (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to furnish with a grate the lower windows were grated

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Other Words from grate

Verb (1)

grater noun
gratingly \ˈgrā-​tiŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of grate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Shredded lettuce follows, then cheese—mild or smoked Cheddar and grated to enhance the melting potential. Fortune, "The World's First Robot-Made Burger Is Here," 27 June 2017 And one that sounds beautiful in a foreign language can be grating in English. Noor Brara, Vogue, "Actually, "Dear Abby", I Like My "Foreign Name" Just Fine, Thanks," 17 Oct. 2018 More than anything, though, the anemic 32GB of storage really grates. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "HP Chromebook x2 review: semi-pro," 27 Sep. 2018 In a large bowl, combine grated garlic, cayenne, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Garlic Lemon Chicken with Broccoli Rabe," 16 Aug. 2018 Spoon a bit of pesto into each serving and pass grated Parmesan at the table. David Tanis, New York Times, "A Soup for All Seasons (Even Summer)," 6 July 2018 Though Lyle's finely attuned to the anxieties of suburbanites on their scramble toward the complacencies of middle age, the wittiest segments of his script are the put-downs, which soon begin to grate. Irene Hsiao, Chicago Reader, "It's the end of the world at the Barbecue Apocalypse and nobody feels fine," 29 June 2018 Unsurprisingly, this started to grate, the way fingernails do on a chalkboard. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "NBA beware: LaVar Ball is back and it's only a matter of time before he starts talking," 3 May 2018 This prevalence of absentee fathers begins to grate on me. Longreads, "Life on the Oil Frontier," 23 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The grill master then rakes the embers under the cooking food, while raising and lowering the grate itself to achieve slow-cooked perfection. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "The Home Grills That Make Every Meal a Commitment," 25 Sep. 2018 In Wright’s footage, Morgan, 81, can be seen carefully surveying the snake after opening the lid, before reaching in, snatching both ends of the snake and yanking it off the grates. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "81-year-old grandma yanks pythons from grill at request of concerned family," 31 Aug. 2018 Arrange the meatballs on the grate over medium heat. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Be Ambitious This Thanksgiving: 3 Bold Recipes From One of L.A.’s Most Talked About Restaurants," 2 Nov. 2018 Heat the clean grate of a grill or a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "Cook’s Trick: Go Ahead and Overdo It," 7 Sep. 2018 When the coals are white, dump them out and place the grate over the coals. Penelope Green, House Beautiful, "The Simple, Fresh Grilled Chicken You'll Make All Summer Long," 1 July 2014 Beer: Pour half a bottle of beer over the top of greasy grates on a warm grill. Brianna Steinhilber /, NBC News, "A better way to clean your BBQ grill," 29 June 2018 During a later investigation, the hotel staff showed a North Myrtle Beach officer the screws used to hold the cover grate in place. Mari A. Schaefer,, "WATCH: Pa. Corrections officer saves boy trapped underwater in pool drain," 30 Apr. 2018 For extra gunk-fighting power, spray the grates with lemon juice or our old friend white vinegar first. Meghan Overdeep, ajc, "Why you should be cleaning your grill with an onion," 2 July 2018

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

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

1547, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grate

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French grater to scratch, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German krazzōn to scratch


Middle English, from Medieval Latin crata, grata hurdle, alteration of Latin cratis — more at hurdle

Verb (2)

see grate entry 2

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Statistics for grate

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grate

The first known use of grate was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for grate



English Language Learners Definition of grate

: a metal frame with bars across it that is used in a fireplace or to cover an opening


\ˈgrāt \
grated; grating

Kids Definition of grate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to break into small pieces by rubbing against something rough grate cheese

2 : to grind or rub against something with a harsh noise

3 : to have an irritating effect His voice grates on me.



Kids Definition of grate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a frame containing parallel or crossed bars (as in a window)

2 : a frame of iron bars to hold a fire

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More from Merriam-Webster on grate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grate

Spanish Central: Translation of grate

Nglish: Translation of grate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grate for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about grate

Comments on grate

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