\ 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

In one photo posted to Twitter, Ellis grins with the Cascade Mountains rising in the background. The Washington Post,, "Naked man runs down aisle of Alaska Airlines flight, passengers say," 15 May 2018 Crowe tweeted about the sale back in February, sharing a shot of the print cover of the Sotheby’s catalogue that shows him dressed in a tuxedo, grinning while raising a celebratory toast to the camera. Mike Miller,, "Russell Crowe Finalizes Divorce from Danielle Spencer — Two Days After $3.7 Million Auction," 9 Apr. 2018 Joe sent me a picture of the two of them shaking hands and Joe grinning with his rod back in his hand. Ben Raines,, "A rod returned, a scoundrel redeemed," 29 Mar. 2018 Blue Ivy, a kid grinning in a gown most mortals likely couldn't afford: 1.6 million likes 3. Megan Friedman, Cosmopolitan, "These Were the Most-Liked Instagrams From the VMAs," 29 Aug. 2016 Louis, perched on his mother’s lap, grinned at the camera. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "See 3 New Adorable Portraits of Prince Louis," 22 Apr. 2019 Wilson watches the robotic arm trace deft patterns on a full-scale test platform, and then grins as Loomis hands him a phone loaded with an app to move the arm manually. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Disrupting the Pentagon: Can the Air Force Learn To Love Startup Culture?," 12 Apr. 2019 Kate smiles down at her baby, while the rest of the family grins straight at the camera. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "See Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, and Kate Middleton's Holiday Thank You Cards," 19 Jan. 2019 The famed soldiers chorus, for example, is played for irony, with grinning animated skeletons dancing across screens framing a zombie-like parade of the walking dead, in direct contradiction of what Gounod’s triumphant music is telling us. John Von Rhein,, "Splendid cast gives Gounod his due in muddled 'Faust' at Lyric Opera," 4 Mar. 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

18 Jun 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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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