Definition of grin in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡrɪn/

verb (grins, grinning, grinned)

[no object]
1Smile broadly: Dennis appeared, grinning cheerfully
More example sentences
  • To our astonishment, Denis was grinning at us, and was even now heading in our direction.
  • Walk through the tiny airport at Yap, and a small tanned youth will grin at you broadly and place a flower arrangement on your head.
  • By now more than one third of the class was grinning broadly or chuckling to themselves.
smile, smile broadly, beam, grin from ear to ear, smile from ear to ear, grin like a Cheshire cat, smirk
informal be all smiles
1.1Grimace grotesquely so as to reveal the teeth: (as adjective grinning) a grinning skull
More example sentences
  • For years now, human remains have become exposed in the eroding sand-dunes and it was not unusual to encounter a grinning skull when walking along a particular stretch.
  • The church is still there, as is the row of grinning stone skulls above the entrance, indicating it was used for burials during the Great Plague of 1665.


A broad smile: a silly grin
More example sentences
  • I sit here with a silly grin on my face, feeling like I'm the first mother in the world to watch a child grow up.
  • He flashed the attendant behind the counter a dimpled grin and she smiled back warmly.
  • They smiled innocently up at the men, who looked down at them with silly grins, as if they had never seen a woman before.
smile, broad smile, smirk


grin and bear it

Suffer pain or misfortune in a stoical manner: you’ll just have to grin and bear it
More example sentences
  • So you just grin and bear it and somehow muddle your way through, always focusing on your kid's desire to have a good day with the other parent.
  • I've just got to grin and bear it and see what happens in the summer.
  • They're doesn't seem to be any redress - it's just a question of grin and bear it.
put up with it, stick it out, keep at it, keep going, stay with it, see it through, see it through to the end;
persevere, persist, carry on, struggle on
informal hang in there, soldier on, tough it out, peg away, plug away, bash on



Example sentences
  • Compare Jimmy Saville, DLT and JohnPeel & KidJensen to whoever the anonymous grinners are who compère the show these days.
  • Certainly he is more believable when he's doing anger and hardness than when he deploys his constrained smile. He's not a grinner.


Example sentences
  • The very fact that journalists referred to their news reports as ‘stories’, implied that these contained more fiction than fact, he pointed out grinningly.
  • You cannot watch a 1970s nostalgia TV show without a thirtysomething pundit grinningly saying this with the air of someone breaking a taboo.
  • The innkeeper grinningly ushered us in and showed us to a table.


Old English grennian 'bare the teeth in pain or anger', of Germanic origin; probably related to groan.

  • When grin entered English in the 11th century it meant ‘to bare the teeth in pain or anger’, far from the happy expression the word suggests nowadays. This former sense is preserved in the expression grin and bear it, ‘to suffer pain or misfortune stoically’. An earlier version of the phrase is grin and abide. Not until the late 15th century did grin begin to be used for various sorts of smile, developing from a forced, unnatural one, through a rather vacant, silly one, to the cheerful and broad smile we associate with the word today. Groan (Old English) is related.

Words that rhyme with grin

agin, akin, begin, Berlin, bin, Boleyn, Bryn, chin, chin-chin, Corinne, din, fin, Finn, Flynn, gaijin, Glyn, Gwyn, herein, Ho Chi Minh, in, inn, Jin, jinn, kin, Kweilin, linn, Lynn, mandolin, mandoline, Min, no-win, pin, Pinyin, quin, shin, sin, skin, spin, therein, thin, Tientsin, tin, Tonkin, Turin, twin, underpin, Vietminh, violin, wherein, whin, whipper-in, win, within, Wynne, yin

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