Definition of grind in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡrīnd/

verb (pastand past participle ground /ɡround/)

1 [with object] Reduce (something) to small particles or powder by crushing it: grind some black pepper over the salad they grind up fish for fertilizer
More example sentences
  • If the root is ground to a powder, as some growers do, it is then boiled to extract the liquorice essence.
  • With so many Mexican items in stores across the US, you can make your own chili powder by grinding your own spices.
  • The bark is ground to an off-white powder that has a sweet taste and a pinelike odor.
crush, pound, pulverize, mill, granulate, crumble, smash, press
technical triturate, comminute
1.1 [no object] (Of a mill or machine) work with a crushing action: the old mill was grinding again
More example sentences
  • Ever since the Americans built up the Dominican sugar industry in the 1920s, it is Haitian muscle that has kept the mills grinding and the cane cut.
  • And those mills grind remorselessly and cruelly at times.
  • A handful of huts, a small mill grinding by the stream's edge, a place of twenty ploughs, no more.
1.2Sharpen, smooth, or produce (something) by crushing or by friction: power from a waterwheel was used to grind cutlery
More example sentences
  • The large upright stone also bears the marks of where new adze heads were ground and sharpened.
  • After cooling slowly, the piece is then ground to remove excess enamel, and polished.
  • Some people actually shave or grind down parts of their skates so that they can fit larger wheels.
sharpen, whet, hone, file, strop;
smooth, polish, sand, sandpaper
1.3Operate (a mill or machine) by turning the handle: she was grinding a coffee mill
More example sentences
  • We had no bread for quite a while, so we got wheat berries, and took turns grinding a coffee mill with our hands.
  • Anyone who likes preparing a good meal has undoubtedly had the experience of enthusiastically shaking or grinding the pepper-mill over a pot only to find themselves in a sneezing fit moments later.
2Rub or cause to rub together gratingly: [no object]: tectonic plates that inexorably grind against each other [with object]: he keeps me awake at night, grinding his teeth
More example sentences
  • My teeth grind together, and my hackles rise, and I want to find the radio or whatever it is and rip it to bits.
  • Where these plates meet, they grind together, creating earthquakes.
  • She closed her eyes, her teeth grinding together.
rub, grate, scrape, rasp
2.1 [no object] Move noisily and laboriously, especially against a countering force: the truck was grinding slowly up the hill
More example sentences
  • Remember, the wheels of the justice system can grind very slowly, at least in the US.
  • The justice system grinds slowly and gets off to many a false start, but it ends up triumphant.
  • He can then grind slowly westwards, picking up centres as the rest fight amongst themselves.
3 [no object] informal (Of a dancer) rotate the hips: go-go girls grinding to blaring disco
More example sentences
  • Although the video did have a lot of ‘bloke appeal’, with the singer and her dancers grinding and gyrating from start to finish, I got the impression that it was all her idea.
  • Jack knew that Angela wasn't the type of girl to grind while dancing, and he doubted whether she knew how to.
  • Jude glanced around, seeing Andy grinding with some girl who was not Claudia.


[in singular]
1A crushing or grating sound or motion: the crunch and grind of bulldozers figurative the slow grind of the US legal system
More example sentences
  • People discover they are capable of things they had hardly dreamt of, and realise talents and potentials previously crushed by the grind of capitalism.
  • The slow grind of American law has produced indictments.
  • "We use half a tank getting up the Kaimais and then we have the slow grind down the other side, " he said.
1.1Hard dull work: relief from the daily grind
More example sentences
  • It's like taking a step away from the daily grind, the hard slog, the trials and the tribulations so you can focus on nothing but having fun for three whole days.
  • Each worker has a tale of hard work, staff shortages and the daily grind to survive.
  • Others ditch the daily grind for a slower-paced life.
drudgery, toil, hard work, labor, exertion, chores, slog
informal sweat
literary travail
1.2US informal An excessively hard-working student.
Example sentences
  • About 1957, MIT undergraduates began referring to ‘gnurds,’ studious grinds, especially in science and engineering.
  • She is an insufferably sensible young woman — a grind at school, hiding behind thick glasses and inside bulky cardigans.
  • You sound like a total grind. Like you never skipped a class the day after a party.
1.3The size of ground particles: only the right grind gives you all the fine flavor
More example sentences
  • Visitors can choose either roasted coffee beans, medium grind coffee, fine blend coffee or cappuccino in different sizes and packets.
  • This grind we call a Turkish Grind which is the finest grind yet.
  • The flour texture is a medium grind perfectly suited for my breads, cookies and muffins.
2 informal A dancer’s rotary movement of the hips: a bump and grind
More example sentences
  • Two women did concentrated bumps and grinds, bumps and grinds, bumps and grinds.
  • A voluptuous black girl in leather and a thicket of beaded dreadlocks jumped in front of him and mirrored his strokes, his bumps and grinds.
  • How often do we get to see a bump and grind performed on pointe?


grind to a halt (or come to a grinding halt)

Move more and more slowly and then stop.
Example sentences
  • It was roughly at this time I noticed that whenever I spoke emotionally, my speech came slower and slower until grinding to a halt.
  • Meanwhile, traffic ground to a halt on many major routes due to speed restrictions and fallen trees, police said.
  • By the time they drove two more blocks, traffic had ground to a halt.

Phrasal verbs


grind away

Work or study hard.
Example sentences
  • He has continued to grind away at the project to which he dedicated himself more than a decade ago.
  • You just have to keep grinding away and hope that it happens for you.
  • It's more flexible, it's clean, your're scheduled to meet your clients and left alone with them, instead of grinding away to meet quotas and schedules with bosses looking over your shoulder.

grind someone down

Wear someone down with continuous harsh or oppressive treatment: mundane everyday things which just grind people down
More example sentences
  • ‘We are fighting a continual battle and eventually it grinds you down,’ she said.
  • We know that his years of drudgery have ground him down.
  • A prominent public figure, she was also the survivor of an unhappy family, and private sadness had ground her down by the time she reached her 50s.

grind on

Continue for a long time in a wearying or tedious way: the rail talks grind on
More example sentences
  • His troubles began in February 2000 but the case against him continues to grind on.
  • If the economy does not get going soon and if the guerrilla war grinds on then the tide could easily turn.
  • He must have been suffering agonies of worry as the weeks grind on and foot and mouth continues to ravage the land.

grind something out

Produce something dull or tedious slowly and laboriously: I must grind out some more fiction
More example sentences
  • He growled slowly, seemingly having great difficulty grinding the words out.
  • Gradually, however, productivity improvements have been ground out and Germany's relative unit labour costs have fallen.
  • Anne McCaffrey, bless her ink-stained fingers, keeps grinding them out.
produce, generate, crank out, turn out
informal churn out


Old English grindan, probably of Germanic origin. Although no cognates are known, it may be distantly related to Latin frendere 'rub away, gnash'.

Words that rhyme with grind

affined, behind, bind, blind, find, hind, humankind, interwind, kind, mankind, mind, nonaligned, resigned, rind, unaligned, unassigned, unconfined, undefined, undersigned, undesigned, unlined, unrefined, unsigned, wynd

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: grind

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