\ 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 grin (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 His primary motivation was to bring a little joy into the world, Kiszla says, and to make his coworkers grin. Mary Colurso |, al, "Alabama man wears a train set that plays ‘Jingle Bells,’ and we’re here for it," 20 Dec. 2020 Within minutes of making camp, a distant hoot stirred Mr. Rabary to grin. Erik Vance, New York Times, "In Madagascar, Endangered Lemurs Find a Private Refuge," 26 Oct. 2020 Frerotte, who spent 15 seasons in the NFL but is best known for his reckless reaction to a score, later learned to grin about the painful result. Brent Zwerneman,, "In win vs. Florida, Texas A&M saw good, bad and ugly of celebrations," 19 Oct. 2020 Brian’s attempt at office work includes a montage of Cruise trying to talk and grin his way into an executive suite. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "Uncouth, Cranky and Rude: Movies in 1988 Were a Far Cry From Today," 2 Oct. 2020 And enough forward thrust out of the hole to turn even the stuffiest gray-suit into a leering, grinning idiot. Arthur St. Antoine, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1992 GMC Typhoon," 19 May 2020 The vice president frequently dropped into diners and coffee shops for an order of grip-and-grin retail politics. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Coronavirus spotlight shines a path for Mike Pence toward 2024," 15 May 2020 But even with obviously fake videos, such as one showing Joe Biden lolling his tongue and grinning that was shared by President Donald Trump, the company has since used the label only twice, in part because of technical glitches. CBS News, "Twitter to label misinformation about coronavirus amid flood of false claims and conspiracy theories," 13 May 2020 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

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

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for grin



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

Nglish: Translation of grin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grin for Arabic Speakers

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