groaned; groaning; groans

intransitive verb

: to utter a deep moan indicative of pain, grief, or annoyance
groaned when she saw the bill
: to make a harsh sound (as of creaking) under sudden or prolonged strain
The chair groaned under his weight.

transitive verb

: to utter or express with groaning
groaned their despair
groan noun

Example Sentences

The wounded man groaned in pain. She groaned when she saw the bill. “Oh, no,” she groaned, “I'm going to have to start all over.” She groaned that she would have to start all over. Merchants are groaning over slow holiday sales. He's always moaning and groaning about his salary. The chair groaned under his weight. See More
Recent Examples on the Web When a Google engineer claimed earlier this month that a company chatbot had become sentient, some artificial intelligence experts couldn’t help but groan. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 29 June 2022 Some pundits are simply perma-bears that moan and groan about how the market will collapse taking you and civilization with it. Clem Chambers, Forbes, 16 June 2022 Staffers routinely groan about Youngkin’s early business hours. Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2022 Older fans of the franchise may groan upon hearing the mention of Gen Z idealists, and Garcia understands that skepticism. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Feb. 2022 After the comment was made, attendees in the chambers began to boo and groan at the comment, as Biden paused for a brief moment and continued his address. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 2 Mar. 2022 Winslow couldn’t help but groan when told Nurkic had let the bear out of the bag. oregonlive, 22 Feb. 2022 Techno-prophets of the 20th century envisioned a future free of bodies, and especially bodies that groan under the weight of social baggage—female bodies, Black bodies. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 18 Feb. 2022 The Afghan children — mostly girls — share their favorite pop songs on a book club playlist and collectively groan whenever someone’s older relative comments off camera. Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'groan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English gronen, from Old English grānian; akin to Old High German grīnan to growl

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of groan was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near groan

Cite this Entry

“Groan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


: to utter a deep moan of pain, grief, or irritation
: to make a harsh sound under strain
the chair groaned under my weight
groan noun
groaner noun

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