\ ˈgrin How to pronounce grin (audio) \
grinned; grinning

Definition of grin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to draw back the lips so as to show the teeth especially in amusement or laughter broadly : smile grinning from ear to ear


plural grins

Definition of grin (Entry 2 of 2)

: a facial expression produced by grinning especially in pleasure or amusement a happy grin She grew into a nimble young girl of seven winters, a thoughtful girl with shining brown eyes and a wide grin— Louise Erdrich I wanted to wipe the grin off his face [=make him stop smiling.]

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Other Words from grin


grinner noun
grinningly \ ˈgri-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce grinningly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for grin

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of grin in a Sentence

Verb She continued to tease her brother, grinning wickedly. grinned at the kids' fooling around in the pool
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ward grinned at his final hearing that month in a downtown courtroom, blocks away from 1300 Beaubien. Anna Clark, The New Republic, "He Was Wrongly Imprisoned for 25 Years. It Wasn’t DNA Evidence That Got Him Out.," 22 Apr. 2020 Cay grinned, then looked down at his spool of red thread. David Canfield,, "First look: Disney's epic new fairy-tale series begins with Julie C. Dao's magical Broken Wish," 13 Apr. 2020 In the picture of Stormi, the little girl is grinning while holding onto a liquid lipstick wand, after applying the cosmetic to her mouth in the adorably haphazard way only a toddler can get away with. Georgia Slater,, "Kylie Jenner and Stormi Webster Share a Matchy Moment (Again!) at Kardashian Christmas Party," 25 Dec. 2019 Some of the young men and women nearest the stage are grinning vacantly. James Sullivan, Time, "The Daydream of the 1960s Ended 50 Years Ago at Altamont. Here’s What the Rolling Stones' Official Photographer Saw That Day," 6 Dec. 2019 Tabbs said, grinning at the thought as a 20-year-old. Julian Benbow,, "Sidelined BC guard Wynston Tabbs isn’t sitting still," 17 Jan. 2020 Fiona Apple sat between Magic Johnson and Jimmy Kimmel, an emissary from Planet Alt flanked by two grinning guys wearing boxy suits. Los Angeles Times, "Deep re-listening: Fiona Apple’s ‘Extraordinary Machine’," 1 Apr. 2020 Kagan and justice Brett Kavanaugh couldn’t help grinning, too, seeming to beam approval across the room at their colleague. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The US Supreme Court rules unanimously in a “curious” tax refund case," 25 Feb. 2020 Lara Jean skips into her house, grinning, after a date with Peter ends with a peck on the lips. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "The Masturbation Moment in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Sequel Should Be Required Viewing for Teen Girls," 12 Feb. 2020

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1565, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grin


Middle English grennen, from Old English grennian; akin to Old High German grennen to snarl

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Time Traveler for grin

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for grin

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for grin


How to pronounce grin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grin

: to smile widely


\ ˈgrin How to pronounce grin (audio) \
grinned; grinning

Kids Definition of grin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to smile broadly showing teeth



Kids Definition of grin (Entry 2 of 2)

: a broad smile that shows teeth

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More from Merriam-Webster on grin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grin

Spanish Central: Translation of grin

Nglish: Translation of grin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grin for Arabic Speakers

Comments on grin

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