\ 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


moan, wail

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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

Even political die-hards had groaned at the specter of a second debate on a Friday evening, viewing it as a kind of municipal homework assignment. New York Times, "Democratic Candidates Jostle, and Gripe, as Debates Winnow the Field," 28 Aug. 2019 As players groaned and McKenna fell to the turf with his head in his arms, Edsall offered another escape from running: The players could choose one media member to face the same challenge with the same stakes. Alex Putterman,, "Randy Edsall, UConn football team enjoy punt-catching challenge as training camp comes to end," 15 Aug. 2019 Stepping away from the table afterward, Tokarczuk groaned and pretended to collapse. Ruth Franklin, The New Yorker, "Olga Tokarczuk’s Novels Against Nationalism," 29 July 2019 Then, after the nominee sidestepped multiple questions about legislation that the Council had drafted in response to the crisis, the speaker paused, dropped his head in his hands and groaned into his microphone. Brian M. Rosenthal, New York Times, "New York Needed a New Taxi Chief. But a Battle Got in the Way.," 23 July 2019 On Sunday, 78-year-old Jon Lester groaned through 5 ⅔ innings, needing only 117 pitches to do it. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: The Cincinnati Reds certainly have a shot in the underwhelming NL Central," 30 June 2019 Because of that, the actors had to kiss in front of a green screen—which is when Harington decided to joke around by gagging and groaning after making out with Clarke. Glamour, "Watch Kit Harington Gag After Kissing Emilia Clarke on the Game of Thrones Set," 16 Apr. 2019 No one likes to be booed, no one likes to be groaned at, no one likes to be laughed at. Michael Schneider,, "‘Real Time’ host Bill Maher says he can’t talk about Trump much longer," 27 June 2019 The page almost groans under the dead weight of that pun. Washington Post, "From Gourmet to Serious Eats, two food memoirs chronicle the pitfalls of old and new media," 11 June 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.

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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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Statistics for groan

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for groan

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

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More Definitions for groan



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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More from Merriam-Webster on groan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with groan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to spread over or through

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