What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[grin] /grɪn/
verb (used without object), grinned, grinning.
to smile broadly, especially as an indication of pleasure, amusement, or the like.
to draw back the lips so as to show the teeth, as a snarling dog or a person in pain.
to show or be exposed through an opening, crevice, etc.
verb (used with object), grinned, grinning.
to express or produce by grinning:
The little boy grinned his approval of the gift.
a broad smile.
the act of producing a broad smile.
the act of withdrawing the lips and showing the teeth, as in anger or pain.
Origin of grin1
before 1000; Middle English grinnen, grennen, Old English grennian; cognate with Old High German grennan to mutter
Related forms
grinner, noun
grinningly, adverb
1. See laugh.


[grin] /grɪn/
Chiefly Scot. a snare like a running noose.
verb (used with object), grinned, grinning.
to catch in a nooselike snare.
before 900; Middle English grin(e), Old English grin, gryn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for grin
  • He's almost never without a benign grin, a smile so pearly-white perfect that he could get work in a teeth-bleaching ad.
  • No wonder the famous grin was even wider than usual.
  • The clownish grin of a bridled parrotfish reveals its power tools.
  • You'll grin as you see all your old felt-and-fur friends appear.
  • He disappeared one day into the wall and came out a week later with a silly grin on his face.
  • He is tough, clever and has a disarming cheeky grin.
  • The farmers grin as they watch the machines thunder through the cornfields.
  • Once it has extracted the information it requires, it slops out of your throat and saunters off with a wicked grin on its face.
  • People who confess to feeling happy also grin more than others.
  • Despite the toothpaste grin on my face, my guide could sense my severe disappointment.
British Dictionary definitions for grin


verb grins, grinning, grinned
to smile with the lips drawn back revealing the teeth or express (something) by such a smile: to grin a welcome
(intransitive) to draw back the lips revealing the teeth, as in a snarl or grimace
(informal) grin and bear it, to suffer trouble or hardship without complaint
a broad smile
a snarl or grimace
Derived Forms
grinner, noun
grinning, adjective, noun
Word Origin
Old English grennian; related to Old High German grennen to snarl, Old Norse grenja to howl; see grunt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for grin

Old English grennian "show the teeth" (in pain or anger), common Germanic (cf. Old Norse grenja "to howl," grina "to grin;" Dutch grienen "to whine;" German greinen "to cry"), from PIE root *ghrei- "be open." Sense of "bare the teeth in a broad smile" is late 15c., perhaps via the notion of "forced or unnatural smile." Related: Grinned; grinning.


1630s, from grin (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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