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See also: Grinder



From Middle English grinder, grindere, from Old English grindere (one or that which grinds; grinder), equivalent to grind +‎ -er.

This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term. where did sandwich sense come from



grinder (plural grinders)

  1. One who grinds something, such as the teeth.
    scissors grinder
    (one who sharpens scissors)
    • 2010, A. J. Larner, A Dictionary of Neurological Signs, page 68:
      Masseter hypertrophy may become apparent in persistent grinders.
  2. (anatomy) A molar.
  3. (slang) Any tooth.
  4. A power tool with a spinning abrasive disc, used for grinding, smoothing, and shaping materials, usually metal.
  5. (Connecticut, Vermont) A sandwich made on a long, cylindrical roll.
    I am going to the deli to get a grinder for lunch.
    • 1996, Michael Craig Budden, Protecting Trade Secrets under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Westport, Conn.: Quorum Books, →ISBN, page 20:
      It was reported that the recipes for the secret sauce and grinder sandwiches were proprietary, known only to the current president of the corporation and the former owner of the restaurant.
  6. (Pennsylvania) A hoagie or submarine sandwich that's toasted or baked and doesn't contain lettuce.
  7. A kitchen gadget for processing coffee, herbs etc. into small or powdered pieces.
  8. The restless flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta) of Australia, which makes a noise like a scissors grinder.
  9. (music, slang) A fan or performer of grindcore music.
  10. (slang) A biohacker who uses cybernetic implants or biochemicals to enhance or change their own body.
    • 2017, Jamie Bartlett, chapter 1, in Radicals:
      Rich Lee – one of the organisers of Grindfest, and the Transhumanist Party’s ‘bio-hacking adviser’ – estimates that there are around 3,000 grinders in the US, and many more bio-hackers.
  11. (slang, dated) A student who studies hard; a swot.
  12. (slang, dated) A person who coaches students for an upcoming examination.
  13. (ice hockey, slang) A hard-working, physical player with limited offensive ability.
  14. (lawyer slang) A low-ranking attorney with no clients who works very hard.
  15. (US, military, slang) An outdoor space for drills and parades.
    • 2019, Chas Romeo, U.S.M.C.:
      We were told then and there that we wouldn't be allowed on the grinder again until we could do a lot better. The grinder is what that large area was called, and it was a fitting name. They literally ground us down on it.
    • 2013, USMC Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC / TC3) Guidelines:
      Company formations are held on the grinder (basketball court outside the Quarterdeck).
  16. (radio, informal) Atmospheric interference producing a roaring background noise.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The type of sandwich denoted by grinder varies widely. In the Philadelphia area, for example, a grinder is distinguished from a hoagie in that the grinder is toasted or baked, and usually lacks lettuce.


  • (sandwich): sub

Derived terms[edit]



  • (a tooth; one who coaches students): 1873, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]


grinder m or f

  1. indefinite plural of grind

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]


grinder f

  1. indefinite plural of grind