\ 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

At candidate forums and on mailers that pictured him grinning alongside local leaders, Lee touted his long experience and endorsements in the district. Emily Alpert Reyes,, "A San Fernando Valley runoff pits a scientist against a former City Hall aide," 5 June 2019 Terrell Lewis couldn't help but grin talking about Alabama's pass rush in Saturday's scrimmage. Michael Casagrande,, "Alabama LB promises they try hard not to hit QBs, but one got pinballed in scrimmage," 9 Apr. 2018 The Extra co-host couldn’t stop grinning while wearing a long, white T-shirt and white pants just before he was baptized in the Jordan River 10 days before Easter, which falls on April 1. Alexia Fernandez,, "Mario Lopez Gets 'Baptized in the Same River Jesus Did' 10 Days Before Easter: 'That Was Moving'," 22 Mar. 2018 Surely, Bolt would find a way in his final individual race to keep grinning all the way to the finish line in London. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "The Year in Sports," 20 Dec. 2017 As a court officer held Terry off, Madison grinned and taunted him. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Serial killer’s mother slain in bed; teen suspect hid in shower," 24 June 2019 Jean grinned and admitted that this was not her doing. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Blundering Gardener: Highland Park gardener invites us into her own Shangri-la," 15 June 2019 Beneath the shrine, men grinned and groaned and heaved; the gravel at their feet grew dark with sweat. Neil Shea, National Geographic, "Tokyo became a megacity by reinventing itself," 12 June 2019 Steps from home, Kent grinned, removed his helmet, tossed it aside and was enveloped by teammates. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Opinion: From Big Papi to 'big brother,' David Ortiz's baseball impact a true love affair," 10 June 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

16 Jul 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).


food or victuals

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