\ ˈgrīnd How to pronounce grind (audio) \
ground\ ˈgrau̇nd How to pronounce ground (audio) \; grinding

Definition of grind

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to reduce to powder or small fragments by friction (as in a mill or with the teeth) grind the coffee beans
2 : to wear down, polish, or sharpen by friction grind an ax
3a : oppress, harass tyrants who grind their subjects
b : to weaken or destroy gradually usually used with down poverty ground her spirit down
4a : to press together with a rotating motion grind the teeth
b : to rub or press harshly ground the cigarette out
5 : to operate or produce by turning a crank grind a hand organ

intransitive verb

1 : to perform the operation of grinding
2 : to become pulverized, polished, or sharpened by friction
3 : to move with difficulty or friction especially so as to make a grating noise gears grinding
4 : drudge especially : to study hard grind for an exam
5 : to rotate the hips in an erotic manner



Definition of grind (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act of grinding
b : the sound of grinding
2a : dreary, monotonous, or difficult labor, study, or routine the dull grind of office work
b : one who works or studies excessively a grind who never goes to parties
3 : the result of grinding also : material ground to a particular degree of fineness a drip grind of coffee
4 : an action of rotating the hips in an erotic manner (as in a dance or in a burlesque striptease act) — compare bump entry 1 sense 3

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Other Words from grind


grindingly \ ˈgrīn-​diŋ-​lē How to pronounce grindingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for grind

Synonyms: Verb

buff, file, hone, rasp, rub, sand

Synonyms: Noun

creak, jar, rasp, scrape, scratch

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Choose the Right Synonym for grind


work, labor, travail, toil, drudgery, grind mean activity involving effort or exertion. work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force. too tired to do any work labor applies to physical or intellectual work involving great and often strenuous exertion. farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor travail is bookish for labor involving pain or suffering. years of travail were lost when the house burned toil implies prolonged and fatiguing labor. his lot would be years of back-breaking toil drudgery suggests dull and irksome labor. an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery grind implies labor exhausting to mind or body. the grind of the assembly line

Examples of grind in a Sentence


The corn is ground into meal. The steel grinds to a sharp edge. She kept grinding the car's gears. He grinds his teeth in his sleep. I could hear the gears grinding.


I need a break from the daily grind. the dull grind of office work
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There’s a breakdown scene midway through, when Virginia becomes unmoored by the mercurial Vita’s inattentions, that is both quiet and frightening: Debicki shows us a desperate woman’s mind grinding to a halt. Ty Burr,, "In ‘Vita & Virginia,’ literary imagination meet real-life love," 4 Sep. 2019 Hurricane Dorian pummeled the Bahamas over the first couple of days in September as a Category 5 storm, at one point grinding to a halt over the islands while its winds whipped around at 145 miles per hour (233 kph). Johnny Simon, Quartz, "Photos: The aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas," 3 Sep. 2019 As the summer movie season grinds to a close, the month of August is living down to its reputation as Hollywood’s dumping ground. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "Now in theaters: Every movie that didn’t want to compete with Disney," 21 Aug. 2019 The 37-year-old grinded his way from Orlando Magic intern to successor of one of the best GM’s the NBA has even seen., "Writers’ roundtable: Weighing in on the Spurs and Team USA basketball," 3 Aug. 2019 Too many big personalities, and your dinner table will start to feel like the set of The McLaughlin Group; too many introverts, and the conversation could grind to a halt entirely. The Editors, Town & Country, "These 102 people who will be invited everywhere this season.," 1 Aug. 2019 The truck accelerated again, knocking Lopez-Aguilar to the ground before grinding to a halt. Jeannette Hinkle, azcentral, "'Disgusting' and 'unacceptable': Martha McSally condemns Border Patrol officers' posts," 2 July 2019 The consequence of all these edits is that the pacing frequently stutters, and in fact sometimes grinds to a halt. Aja Romano, Vox, "Stranger Things season 3 is charming but frustrating. Here’s a spoiler-free review.," 30 June 2019 What ground the farm's operation to a halt — and did the same for farms across Michigan and the Midwest — is the same thing needed to bring life to the fields: rain. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's climate: Models project 30% increase in rain and snow, plus rising temps," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The day-to-day grind of this job is not a normal human experience. Sam Hodgson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Back story: Why we spent 16 weeks inside San Diego’s fire academy," 5 Sep. 2019 Though Lue followed his firing by helping the Clippers in an unofficial, advisory capacity at times last season, his exit from Cleveland essentially forced him to step away from the grind. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Tyronn Lue agrees to join Clippers coaching staff," 20 Aug. 2019 Players mostly gave glowing reports about not only getting in front of college coaches but experiencing what the college grind might be like, the classroom work, the education on how to behave on social media. Richard Obert, azcentral, "NCAA Basketball VP Dan Gavitt sees recruiting reform as beneficial," 27 July 2019 And so the six-month grind to Super Bowl LIV in Miami is underway. Albert Breer,, "How John Elway and the Broncos Plan to Get Back to Their Winning Ways," 18 July 2019 But the grind of the second half will be a good indicator of Means’ viability going forward. Jon Meoli,, "Five questions for the Orioles to answer in the second half of 2019," 12 July 2019 But this is more a movie about the punishing grind of putting a case together, set against the backdrop of a changing 1970s California. Noel Murray, The Verge, "This weekend, stream two David Fincher crime thrillers: Mindhunter season 2 and Zodiac," 16 Aug. 2019 Just trying to make sure my whole body is ready to go for the grind and for all the impact. Mary Kay Cabot,, "Jarvis Landry says Duke Johnson won’t be a distraction, discusses building chemistry with OBJ and others in LA," 19 July 2019 Crucial to any of these films is a lead performance that can capture both the shine of the hero’s aspirations and the grind of day-to-day life. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Wild Rose Is the Best Kind of Musical Melodrama," 19 June 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for grind

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English grindan; akin to Latin frendere to crush, grind

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Statistics for grind

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grind

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

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More Definitions for grind



English Language Learners Definition of grind

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to crush or break (something) into very small pieces by rubbing it against a rough surface or using a special machine
: to cut (meat) into small pieces by putting it through a special machine
: to make (something) sharp or smooth by rubbing it against a hard surface



English Language Learners Definition of grind (Entry 2 of 2)

: boring or difficult work
US : a person who works or studies too much
used to describe the size of the pieces of something that has been ground


\ ˈgrīnd How to pronounce grind (audio) \
ground\ ˈgrau̇nd \; grinding

Kids Definition of grind

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make or be made into powder or small pieces by rubbing The mill grinds wheat into flour.
2 : to wear down, polish, or sharpen by friction grind an ax
3 : to rub together with a scraping noise grind the teeth
4 : to operate or produce by or as if by turning a crank



Kids Definition of grind (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of sharpening or reducing to powder
2 : steady hard work the daily grind
\ ˈgrīnd How to pronounce grind (audio) \
ground\ ˈgrau̇nd How to pronounce ground (audio) \; grinding

Medical Definition of grind

1 : to reduce to powder or small fragments by friction (as with the teeth)
2 : to press together and move with a rotating or back-and-forth motion — see bruxism

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More from Merriam-Webster on grind

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grind

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grind

Spanish Central: Translation of grind

Nglish: Translation of grind for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grind for Arabic Speakers

Comments on grind

What made you want to look up grind? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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