Definition of gurn in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɡəːn/
(also girn)


[no object]
1British Pull a grotesque face.
Example sentences
  • Some people gurn and grimace and pull strange faces whenever a camera is waved near them, as if being caught without making a face would be somehow sneaky.
  • With her pointy-witch proboscis, she gurns and sneers at her audience like a ringmaster gripped by mad cow disease.
  • There's no sound, just a face looking down, as though into a toilet or a bowl of water, gurning and grimacing.
2 (usually girn) chiefly Scottish & Irish Complain peevishly.
Example sentences
  • We are sleepwalking through a consumerist theme-park, girning about the government.
  • Although what he's got to girn about is anyone's guess.
  • Instead of girning about Westminster we girn about Holyrood.



Example sentences
  • If you're voted as gurner of the month by those nice sane folk on the internet, you'll receive a Cumbrian facial pack (two slices of cucumber and some Lake District mud).
  • These outsiders have provided a wholly different perspective from our home-grown whingers and girners.
  • What this makes them I'm not sure, since they seem to spend an awful lot of time in their metropolitan bolt-holes girning about girners.


Early 20th century: dialect variant of grin.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gurn

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.