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grinned; grinning

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
grinner noun
grinningly adverb


2 of 2


plural grins
: 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 grinLouise Erdrich
I wanted to wipe the grin off his face [=make him stop smiling.]

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
In a split photo from their restaurant trip, The Kissing Booth actress grinned while her husband kissed her forehead as the couple wrapped their arms around each other. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 23 Sep. 2023 Long-haired, tanned and tattooed, Arana wore a stylish brown hat and a T-shirt with Emiliano Zapata drawn as the grinning skull logo of punk icons the Misfits. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2023 In the last panel, Black Spy has snuck back around to give White Spy a swift kick in the ass, grinning triumphantly as his enemy falls headfirst into the bucket, soaked and seeing stars. Gyasi Hall, Longreads, 12 Sep. 2023 Walking the red carpet for the Broken Flowers premiere, the couple grinned and embraced while wearing black formal outfits. Emma Kershaw, Peoplemag, 10 Sep. 2023 The pic features Pamela clutching a flower while grinning broadly. Korin Miller, Women's Health, 25 Aug. 2023 Zdarsky said, grinning, with his typical dark humor. Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Aug. 2023 When asked if the homelessness office could use more money to achieve that goal, Crossley grinned. Jason Beeferman, Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2023 When the two of us arrived, his sister clicked her tongue at the sight of me, and grinned at Ren. Bryan Washington, The New Yorker, 29 Aug. 2023
My eyes dart to John Eastman, who flashes a leering grin. Kyler Alvord, Peoplemag, 26 Sep. 2023 Barrymore begins with a smirking grin at her camera, before her expression devolves into one of seriousness and then close to tears. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 18 Sep. 2023 Late in the match, Austin thumped two straight aces with speed and topspin that prompted a wide grin from head coach Leslie Jackson. Greg McKenna, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2023 Buffett’s daughter Delaney also cited his reveler’s spirit and winning grin in a Sept. 7 tribute posted to Instagram. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2023 Kaley Cuoco’s daughter Matilda is showing off her big grin! Clare Fisher, Peoplemag, 6 Sep. 2023 Finally, the controversial square pug nose of old has been freshened with a new grille and wraparound headlamps that present kind of a smug grin to the wind. Frank Markus, Car and Driver, 31 Aug. 2023 Jimmy Buffett Photo: Savannah Jane Buffett There was always a sly grin, a sweetly sardonic message, in just about everything Jimmy Buffett sang or did. Bob Greene, WSJ, 2 Sep. 2023 With her shaggy blond tresses and mischievous grin, Ryan has long been one of our most compelling actors. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1565, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near grin

Cite this Entry

“Grin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


grinned; grinning
: to draw back the lips so as to show the teeth especially in laughter
grin noun

More from Merriam-Webster on grin

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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