grokked; grokking

transitive verb

: to understand profoundly and intuitively

Did you know?

Grok may be the only English word that derives from Martian. Yes, we do mean the language of the planet Mars. No, we're not getting spacey; we've just ventured into the realm of science fiction. Grok was introduced in Robert A. Heinlein's 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. The book's main character, Valentine Michael Smith, is a Martian-raised human who comes to Earth as an adult, bringing with him words from his native tongue and a unique perspective on the strange ways of earthlings. Grok was quickly adopted by the youth culture of America and has since peppered the vernacular of those who grok it.

Examples of grok in a Sentence

the eternal struggle of the human race to grok its place in the grand scheme of the universe
Recent Examples on the Web That doesn’t grok with previous estimates of the moon’s ice, which suggested a thin layer covering a thick ocean. Isaac Schultz / Gizmodo, Quartz, 24 Mar. 2024 The irony is how the people who grok Enlightenment still manage to remain so un-Enlightened about the people who don't. Chris Mooney, Discover Magazine, 11 Aug. 2011 The nature of this religious nationalism is hard for many Westerners to grok. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 6 May 2012 Overwatch 2 is a complicated game that will take a long time for new players to fully grok. Kris Holt, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 If there was any ironic intent behind the question, NeuNer didn’t seem to grok it. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 3 Mar. 2022 Physicists can’t grok the behavior of a single electron that is identical to every other electron. John Horgan, Scientific American, 6 Feb. 2021 The developers hope graphical and feature improvements that make Age of Empires IV easy to learn will let spectators and casual players grok the basics of high-level play—not just as players, but as fans. Matthew Smith, Wired, 25 Oct. 2021 One of the best ways to grok it is through this experiment involving different colors of light. Rhett Allain, Wired, 8 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'grok.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


coined by Robert A. Heinlein †1988 American author

First Known Use

1961, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of grok was in 1961


Dictionary Entries Near grok

Cite this Entry

“Grok.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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