\ 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 Harley, however, has now split with her grinning swain and gone solo. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Harley Quinn Isn’t the Most Criminal Thing in “Birds of Prey”," 7 Feb. 2020 Eyes aflutter, mouth grinning, pigtails swinging, Harley could pass for a lascivious descendant of Giulietta Masina’s Gelsomina by way of Sue Lyon’s Lolita. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Birds of Prey’ Review: Harley Redux, With Joy," 6 Feb. 2020 Adults sitting on wooden bleachers arrayed around the bright yellow-and-green truck that is the stage set groaned and grinned. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje,, "Puns and pigs aplenty at Stock Show and Rodeo opening day," 6 Feb. 2020 And Trudeau goes on from there, hands gesturing, mouth grinning. Paula Newton, CNN, "Trudeau's hot mic comments cause consternation in Canada," 5 Dec. 2019 Ace relief pitcher Goose Gossage, who mopped up the Cubs in the 8th and 9th to save the game for Craig Lefferts, was enmeshed at the center of the crazy quilt of players, grinning wall-to-wall behind his wild walrus mustasche. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: 35 years ago the Padres won their first trip to the World Series," 8 Oct. 2019 The the mother of four gave fans a better view of the intricate decorations, sharing snaps of a topiary maze in the hallway, an elaborate cake with a giant grinning Cheshire cat and a bouncy house in the backyard. Georgia Slater,, "Chicago Is 2! See Her Sweet Birthday Wishes from Mom Kim Kardashian and Grandma Kris Jenner," 15 Jan. 2020 It’s two days before Halloween, and a dance studio in southwest Orlando is decorated with grinning skulls, creepy spiders and spooky eyes. Matthew J. Palm,, "CFCArts Christmas extravaganza: 4 months of work for 3 nights of joy," 11 Dec. 2019 The jack-o’-lantern face has moving green flames pouring from the eyes, nose and mouth, a broad, grinning mouth, a long, prominent stem that curves, and dark striations delineating the segments of the pumpkin giving it a yellow-and-orange design. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, "Epic Games Asks Court to Declare 'Fortnite' Dancing Pumpkin Doesn't Infringe on Viral Character," 9 Dec. 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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Learn More about grin

Time Traveler for grin

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for grin

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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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

Comments on grin

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