\ ˈgrōn How to pronounce groan (audio) \
groaned; groaning; groans

Definition of groan

intransitive verb

1 : to utter a deep moan indicative of pain, grief, or annoyance groaned when she saw the bill
2 : 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

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Other Words from groan

groan noun

Synonyms for groan


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Examples of groan in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Defensive coordinators groan at the thought of quickly preparing for games against the triple-option offense used by Army and Navy. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "College football is back: Five things we learned from Week 1 of the 2020 season," 6 Sep. 2020 Many people probably groan at the thought of eating a salad, mostly because there are so many other foods that are way more delicious. Alex Darus, cleveland, "7 ways to easily amp up your weeknight dinners," 25 Aug. 2020 Her flatmate, Maria, or Masha, used to groan when Pomorina stopped the car to pick up yet another dog. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, "In Moscow, a woman devotes her life to saving dogs," 20 Aug. 2020 Watching Jamie Dornan groan out John Lennon lyrics from what turned out to be his bathroom, hundreds of millions of people seemed to think, simultaneously, Wait, why are these people such major influences in our lives? Jenny Singer, Glamour, "Bad Tippers, Beware: TikTok’s Latest Trend Is Calling Out Celebrity Behavior," 17 Aug. 2020 Coffee tables, side tables, table tables groan under food. Claire Fitzsimmons, Longreads, "Eating To Save My Mind," 10 Aug. 2020 This week office-workers groaned when managers urged them—once again—to work from home because of the risk of disruption to transport by protesters. The Economist, "Rule by fear China’s national-security bill for Hong Kong is an attempt to terrify," 28 May 2020 Outer Banks star Chase Stokes groaned from a couch in a West Hollywood hotel on a sunny February day. Ariana Romero,, "Outer Banks Didn’t Mean To Create Netflix’s Hottest New YA Cast (But It Did)," 16 Apr. 2020 Many right-wing media celebrities are groaning about the stay-at-home orders and urging a return to normalcy ASAP -- even though public health experts are warning about dire consequences if the restrictions are prematurely relaxed. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Propaganda on full display at Trump's latest coronavirus task force briefing," 13 Apr. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of groan

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

History and Etymology for groan

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

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Time Traveler for groan

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for groan

Last Updated

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Groan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for groan


How to pronounce groan (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of groan

: to make a deep sound because of pain or some strong emotion (such as grief or disappointment)
: to say (something that expresses annoyance or unhappiness)
: to complain about something


\ ˈgrōn How to pronounce groan (audio) \
groaned; groaning

Kids Definition of groan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make or say with a moan “Not a test,” she groaned.
2 : to creak under a strain The stairs groaned under his weight.



Kids Definition of groan (Entry 2 of 2)

: a low moaning sound

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