\ ˈgräk How to pronounce grok (audio) \
grokked; grokking

Definition of grok

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 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 The way to really grok the power of play is to play yourself. Ashoka, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 The goal of this information-gathering effort is to grok the scale and scope of the problem, as well as potential solutions. Megan Molteni, Wired, 7 Oct. 2020 The researchers’ pitch is really about ease of use for policymakers: rather than sifting through piles of scientific studies evaluating esoteric variables, the knobs that dial in this price are pretty easy to grok. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 18 Aug. 2020 Sitting in the cockpit, some of the flight controls are easy to grok, even for a person who's never ferried hundreds of passengers through the skies. Rob Verger, Popular Science, 19 Sep. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of grok

1961, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grok

coined by Robert A. Heinlein †1988 American author

Learn More About grok

Listen to Our Podcast About grok

Dictionary Entries Near grok



Grolier de Servières

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for grok

Cite this Entry

“Grok.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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