\ˈgrin \
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 \ 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

Every year on Thanksgiving, our Instagram feeds are flooded with photos of grinning cousins, clinking glasses, and very full plates. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "45+ Thanksgiving Captions for Every Turkey Picture You Post on Instagram," 26 Oct. 2018 Bottom line: don’t let the grinning llamas (alpacas?) fool you; this can be a powerful gaming experience... but only for a certain kind of player. Tom Mendelsohn, Ars Technica, "Altiplano review: A brain-tickling board game about… alpacas," 14 July 2018 An 8-by-10 picture of Bornstein grinning with his famous client once hung prominently on the doctor's wall. Kyle Swenson,, "Harold Bornstein: Former Trump doctor now 'frightened and sad'," 2 May 2018 Baldwin grinned and bore it, and documented the whole thing on Snapchat: Mere hours later, her brows were back in place, re-dyed to their natural brunette hue. Sarah Lindig, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey Baldwin Can Now Relate to Kendall Jenner's Eyebrow Struggles," 18 Sep. 2016 The 48-year-old Wedding Crashers star — whose male passenger was also reportedly booked for obstruction and public intoxication — is seen grinning in the photo. Melody Chiu,, "Vince Vaughn Grins in Mugshot Released After DUI Arrest in California," 10 June 2018 Courtesy of Tracy Emanoff Nine 11-year-old girls pose for a photo, grinning from ear-to-ear. NBC News, "Staying connected: Why these nine adoptees from China reunite annually," 11 July 2018 Stephens said, grinning broadly at mention of the feat. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens Have Parallel Lives on a Collision Course," 3 June 2018 On his first day in the Senate in 1965, Kennedy spies his brother Ted and grins broadly, practically skipping over to say hello. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "What If Robert F. Kennedy Had Become President?," 30 Apr. 2018

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

3 Dec 2018

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


\ˈgrin \
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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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