before 900;Middle Englishgronen,Old Englishgrānian; cognate with Germangreinen to whine
Can be confused
groan, grown (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. Groan, moan refer to sounds indicating deep suffering. A groan is a brief, strong, deep-throated sound emitted involuntarily under pressure of pain or suffering: The wounded man groaned when they lifted him. A moan is a prolonged, more or less continuous, low, inarticulate sound indicative of suffering, either physical or mental: She was moaning after the operation. She did not weep, but moaned softly.
Old English granung, verbal noun from groan (v.). From 16c.-19c., and in dialect, also "a woman's lying in."
Old English granian "to groan, murmur, lament," from Proto-Germanic *grain- (cf. Old Norse grenja "to howl"), of imitative origin, or related to grin. Meaning "complain" is from early 13c., especially in Middle English phrase grutchen and gronen. Related: Groaned; groaning.
late 14c., from groan (v); earlier grane (early 14c.).