\ 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 Despite being on the receiving end at the end of Round 1, Poirier grinned at Nurmagomedov and chatted happily with his corner before the action resumed. Simon Head, MMA Junkie, "UFC 242 results: Khabib Nurmagomedov submits Dustin Poirier in third to retain title," 7 Sep. 2019 In the photo, Trump is grinning and offering a thumbs-up. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Why the US probably won’t pass stronger gun control laws," 10 Aug. 2019 Photographers captured him grinning, his front teeth noticeably missing. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "See Adorable New Photographs of Prince George and Princess Charlotte Enjoying a Very British Boat Race," 8 Aug. 2019 Watching the bigger kids leap from the bank and seeing the water rise in giant splashes, 9-year-old Lexi and 7-year-old Norah grinned. Lois Szymanski,, "Szymanski: The lure of the water hole, where we come of age," 20 July 2019 Maisie Williams grins and looks ever-so-pleased, if a little intimidated about how tough that scene's going to be. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "How the ‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Reacted to Their Own Deaths," 27 May 2019 As their options dwindle, Beijing may be forced to grin and bear a Hong Kong spoiler to their national day, but with the Communist Party's pride at stake, any over-the-top October 1 protests could be met with an escalation from the government. Ben Westcott, CNN, "The date which has both Hong Kong and Beijing on edge," 14 Sep. 2019 The unexpected twists and turns that result are so expertly executed that audience members at Aristocrats concerts tend to simultaneously grin and shake their heads in awe. San Diego Union-Tribune, "12 things to do in San Diego this weekend: Barona Powwow, Latinx New Play Festival, Sand Sculpting Challenge," 30 Aug. 2019 Kelly Clarkson takes knowing how to grin and bear it to a whole new level! Janine Rubenstein,, "Kelly Clarkson Reveals Another Health Scare — a Cyst on Her Ovary Burst While She Filmed The Voice," 28 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for grin

Last Updated

22 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for grin

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

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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

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