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grat·​ing ˈgrā-tiŋ How to pronounce grating (audio)
: a wooden or metal lattice used to close or floor an opening
: a partition, covering, or frame of parallel bars or crossbars
: a system of close equidistant and parallel lines or bars ruled on a polished surface to produce spectra by diffraction


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: causing irritation or annoyance
a grating habit
It's not just that the interruptions themselves are grating to watch: what's worse is the hostilities they create.Heather Schwedel
often : having a harsh or unpleasant sound
a grating voice/accent
If you just imagined that last quote spoken in Gottfried's grating, obnoxious yelling, that's now how you would hear him on the phone. Blake Hannon
The truck braked noisily with a grating shriek of steel. Mildred D. Taylor
gratingly adverb
a gratingly harsh sound
Something in Orcutt's proprietary manner had irritated her at that first meeting, something she found gratingly egotistical in his expansive courtesy … Philip Roth

Examples of grating in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Up on the sky deck are multiple sun-lounging pads, a forward bar with 360-degree views of the ocean, and a long dining table for 10 made to resemble a vintage sailing yacht’s teak grating. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 1 Apr. 2024 These gratings reflect specific wavelengths of light while transmitting others. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Mar. 2024 Kun Xiao/Beijing Normal University The scientists embedded fiber optics that contained etches called fiber Bragg gratings into the silicone rubber patches, which were between 1 and 3 millimeters thick. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Mar. 2024 Plus, the four sides are designed to handle whatever your grating needs may be. Belle Duchene, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Feb. 2024 The grating costs $20 apiece with customers limited to buying up to three pieces per person. Detroit Free Press, 29 Jan. 2024 The Mackinac Bridge Authority announced vintage steel grating from the bridge's deck for sale last month. Jenna Prestininzi, Detroit Free Press, 23 Feb. 2024 Blanch the gratings for 3 to 4 minutes or until translucent. Ella Quittner, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2023 Elevate your kitchen prowess with this Cheese Grater/Chopper, the versatile tool that combines grating and chopping capabilities for culinary excellence. Priscilla Mak, Rolling Stone, 7 Dec. 2023
Find it on Amazon Save Dishes With This Hand Grater This Hand Grater has three grating surfaces, a non-slip base, measurements, and a vegetable peeler. Kathy Barr, Rolling Stone, 26 Sep. 2023 Runner's knee often causes a tender or grating sensation. Yuliya Klochan, Health, 12 Aug. 2023 Among his more grating qualities is an inability to admit his mistakes: the steely aesthete is also a chameleon, adjusting his positions to the latest political circumstances. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 26 June 2023 But often the most grating road-blocker at work is the one who is on your team — and presumably on your side. Ashley Fetters Maloy, Washington Post, 20 May 2022 This is a perpetually grating question that’s followed the genre around as it’s skyrocketed to the very center of the mainstream over the last few years and become one of the most omnipresent sounds on the planet. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 9 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'grating.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1563, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of grating was in 1563

Dictionary Entries Near grating

Cite this Entry

“Grating.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a frame of parallel bars or crossbars
: a transparent surface that is ruled with a series of very closely spaced parallel lines or bars and is used to produce spectra by the diffraction of light

Medical Definition


grat·​ing ˈgrāt-iŋ How to pronounce grating (audio)
: a system of close equidistant and parallel lines or bars ruled on a polished surface to produce spectra by diffraction

called also diffraction grating

More from Merriam-Webster on grating

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