\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from groan

groan noun

Synonyms for groan


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Resident Steven Johnson captured the moment a wave of ice made its way onto the back porch of a home, breaking windows and causing the wood on the deck to groan from the pressure. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "Piles of ice crash into homes as it melts on Minnesota's lakes," 21 Apr. 2020 Gill’s guitar has been groaning and screeching, like a fender pulled across a bollard, for ninety seconds, but with deliberation, as if his noise were fulfilling a single purpose. Sasha Frere-jones, The New Yorker, "Gang of Four’s Glorious and Dangerous Noise," 16 Feb. 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has yet to strike Latin America and the Caribbean at full force, but the region’s fragile societies are already groaning under the stress. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Coronavirus Threat South of the Border," 6 Apr. 2020 New jobless claims in Alaska hit a record level for the third week in a row as the economy groans under the weight of the coronavirus crisis. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "More than 36,000 Alaskans file jobless claims in 3 weeks as coronavirus stifles the economy," 25 Mar. 2020 The country’s hospitals are groaning under the weight of the pandemic: Video and photos from two hospitals in the Spanish capital showed patients, many hooked up to oxygen tanks, crowding corridors and emergency rooms., "Spain suffers newspike in death toll," 25 Mar. 2020 Since day one, judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, and Nichole Scherzinger have anchored the show with their bizarre guesses, comical analysis, and groan-worthy puns (looking at you, Robin). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Masked Singer' Fans Are Demanding That the Show Hire a New Judge ASAP," 17 Mar. 2020 Europe’s largest airport by passengers is groaning under the weight of demand and attempts to build a third runway recently failed in a UK Court of Appeal. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, "Coronavirus is forcing airlines to fly more ‘ghost flights,’ a hated practice to preserve precious airport slots," 11 Mar. 2020 The Party has invented a past in which England groaned under injustice. The Economist, "Open Future Is liberalism really kaput?," 4 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about groan

Time Traveler for groan

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for groan

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Groan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on groan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for groan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with groan

Spanish Central: Translation of groan

Nglish: Translation of groan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of groan for Arabic Speakers

Comments on groan

What made you want to look up groan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!