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[grahynd] /graɪnd/
verb (used with object), ground or (Rare) grinded; grinding.
to wear, smooth, or sharpen by abrasion or friction; whet:
to grind a lens.
to reduce to fine particles, as by pounding or crushing; bray, triturate, or pulverize.
to oppress, torment, or crush:
to grind the poor.
to rub harshly or gratingly; grate together; grit:
to grind one's teeth.
to operate by turning a crank:
to grind a hand organ.
to produce by crushing or abrasion:
to grind flour.
Slang. to annoy; irritate; irk:
It really grinds me when he's late.
verb (used without object), ground or (Rare) grinded; grinding.
to perform the operation of reducing to fine particles.
to rub harshly; grate.
to be or become ground.
to be polished or sharpened by friction.
Informal. to work or study laboriously (often followed by away):
He was grinding away at his algebra.
Digital Technology. (in a video game) to perform a monotonous task repeatedly in order to advance a character to a higher level or rank:
You have to grind for hours before you can embark on the main story mission.
Slang. (in a dance) to rotate the hips in a suggestive manner.
Compare bump (def 12).
the act of grinding.
a grinding sound.
a grade of particle fineness into which a substance is ground:
The coffee is available in various grinds for different coffee makers.
laborious, usually uninteresting work:
Copying all the footnotes was a grind.
Informal. an excessively diligent student.
Slang. a dance movement in which the hips are rotated in a suggestive or erotic manner.
Compare bump (def 21).
Verb phrases
grind out,
  1. to produce in a routine or mechanical way:
    to grind out magazine stories.
  2. to extinguish by rubbing the lighted end against a hard surface:
    to grind out a cigarette.
Origin of grind
before 950; Middle English grinden, Old English grindan; akin to Gothic grinda-, Latin frendere
Related forms
grindable, adjective
grindability, noun
grindingly, adverb
regrind, verb, reground, regrinding.
ungrindable, adjective
2. crush, powder, comminute, pound. 3. persecute, plague, afflict, trouble. 4. abrade. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for grinding
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I see,” said Ralph above the deafening roar of the wind and the grinding wheels, “the Night Express.

  • His dreams were all of escape from this grinding, harsh farm.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Mills for grinding flour and crushing grain have been constructed for the imperial service troops.

  • "It is my evil genius," muttered Gawtrey, grinding his teeth.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • The hand mill for grinding grain shown in the picture is exactly the same as those in use in Palestine from the earliest times.

    The Bible Story Rev. Newton Marshall Hall
British Dictionary definitions for grinding


verb grinds, grinding, ground
to reduce or be reduced to small particles by pounding or abrading: to grind corn, to grind flour
(transitive) to smooth, sharpen, or polish by friction or abrasion: to grind a knife
to scrape or grate together (two things, esp the teeth) with a harsh rasping sound or (of such objects) to be scraped together
(transitive) foll by out. to speak or say (something) in a rough voice
(transitive) often foll by down. to hold down; oppress; tyrannize
(transitive) to operate (a machine) by turning a handle
(transitive) foll by out. to produce in a routine or uninspired manner: he ground out his weekly article for the paper
(transitive) foll by out. to continue to play in a dull or insipid manner: the band only ground out old tunes all evening
(transitive) often foll by into. to instil (facts, information, etc) by persistent effort: they ground into the recruits the need for vigilance
(intransitive) (informal) to study or work laboriously
(intransitive) (mainly US) to dance erotically by rotating the pelvis (esp in the phrase bump and grind)
(informal) laborious or routine work or study
(slang, mainly US) a person, esp a student, who works excessively hard
a specific grade of pulverization, as of coffee beans: coarse grind
(Brit, slang) the act of sexual intercourse
(mainly US) a dance movement involving an erotic rotation of the pelvis
the act or sound of grinding
See also grind in, grind on
Derived Forms
grindingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English grindan; related to Latin frendere, Lithuanian gréndu I rub, Low German grand sand
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 grinding

past participle adjective from grind (v.). Meaning "oppressive" is from 1580s. The verbal noun is from mid-14c.



Old English grindan "to rub together, grate, scrape," forgrindan "destroy by crushing" (class III strong verb; past tense grand, past participle grunden), from Proto-Germanic *grindanan (cf. Dutch grenden), related to ground, from PIE *ghrendh- "to grind" (cf. Latin frendere "to gnash the teeth," Greek khondros "corn, grain," Lithuanian grendu "to scrape, scratch"). Meaning "to make smooth or sharp by friction" is from c.1300. Most other Germanic languages use a verb cognate with Latin molere (cf. Dutch malen, Old Norse mala, German mahlen).


late 12c., "gnashing the teeth," from grind (v.). The sense "steady, hard work" first recorded 1851 in college student slang (but cf. gerund-grinder, 1710); the meaning "hard-working student" is American English slang from 1864.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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grinding in Medicine

grinding grind·ing (grīn'dĭng)
The pathological wearing away of tooth substance by mechanical means.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for grinding


Related Terms




  1. : to wow the audience with her bumps and grinds (1940s+)
  2. : No one except a few notorious grinds studied that night (1864+ Students)
  3. : They heard the hawker go into his grind
  4. A hawker or barker (1925+ Circus)
  5. Any obnoxious or annoying person; jerk, a PAIN IN THE ASS, pill: The prof's a tedious old grind (1890+)
  6. Any very difficult and trying task, esp one that lasts a long time and is slowly and painfully done: Writing dictionaries is indeed a grind (1852+)


  1. To rotate one's pelvis in the sex act or in imitation of the sex act •Nearly always in combination with bump: the strippers bumping and grinding away (1940s+)
  2. To study diligently: Five days to grind and two days to be social, the way it was at Yale (1864+ Students)
  3. To attract and address a crowd at a show or concession; spiel (1925+ Circus)

Related Terms

bump and grind, if you can't find 'em

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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grinding in the Bible

(Ex. 32:20; Deut. 9:21; Judg. 16:21), to crush small (Heb. tahan); to oppress the poor (Isa. 3:5). The hand-mill was early used by the Hebrews (Num. 11:8). It consisted of two stones, the upper (Deut. 24:6; 2 Sam. 11:21) being movable and slightly concave, the lower being stationary. The grinders mentioned Eccl. 12:3 are the teeth. (See MILL.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with grinding


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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