\ 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

beam, smile

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Examples of grin in a Sentence


She continued to tease her brother, grinning wickedly. grinned at the kids' fooling around in the pool

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The royal birthday portrait is an annual tradition: last year, photographer Matt Porteous shot photos of George grinning in front of a brick wall. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "See New Adorable Portraits of Prince George For His Sixth Birthday," 21 July 2019 The climbing continues for more than 4,300 feet with a few undulations here and there, but the payout is huge: a thousand-foot descent in fewer than 1.5 miles that leaves riders grinning from sheer exhilaration and adrenaline. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Mountain biking trails that’ll get you home in time for dinner," 13 June 2019 Even Winston had a blast, running around their five-acre property with their dog Bandit, at one point breaking into a giant box of Milk-Bones and grinning wildly when caught in the act, as if this were the greatest party ever. Janice Gary, Longreads, "Bang and Vanish," 18 Apr. 2018 In a photograph from their childhood, Nikolas and Zachary Cruz sit arm in arm, grinning like the best of buddies. Brittany Wallman,, "Broken relationship haunts brothers Nikolas and Zachary Cruz," 16 Apr. 2018 Sigua posted a photo in December 2014 on his Facebook page of himself standing on a golf course next to Trump, who is grinning and giving a thumbs-up. Anchorage Daily News, "How a Trump construction crew has relied on immigrants without legal status," 9 Aug. 2019 Within a few minutes, the farmer, Marcel Marais, 84, was there, grinning and shaking everyone’s hands. Karina Bland, azcentral, "His father wouldn't talk about D-Day. The son had to know the story," 16 June 2019 Taken by royal photographer Matt Porteous, the snapshot shows Prince George in a white shirt with blue piping grinning ear to ear. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince George's Sixth Birthday Portraits Celebrate His Cheeky Personality," 21 July 2019 Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is hacking, winning and grinning. J.d. Crowe |,, "Trump’s white nationalism train keeps-a-rollin’," 16 July 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

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grin

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grin

Spanish Central: Translation of grin

Nglish: Translation of grin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grin for Arabic Speakers

Comments on grin

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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