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See also: gròan


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English gronen, granen, from Old English grānian (to groan; lament; murmur), from Proto-West Germanic *grainōn, from Proto-Germanic *grainōną (to howl; weep), from Proto-Germanic *grīnaną (to whine; howl; whimper).

Cognate with Dutch grijnen, grienen (to cry; sob; blubber), German Low German grienen (to whimper; mewl), German greinen (to whine; whimper), Swedish grina (to howl; weep; laugh).

The noun is from Middle English gron, grone, from the verb.



groan (plural groans)

  1. A low, mournful sound uttered in pain or grief.
  2. A low, guttural sound uttered in frustration, disapproval, or ecstasy.
  3. (of an object) A low creaking sound from applied pressure or weight.

Alternative forms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


groan (third-person singular simple present groans, present participle groaning, simple past and past participle groaned)

  1. To make a groan.
    We groaned at his awful jokes.
    The wooden table groaned under the weight of the banquet.
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance), [William Shakespeare], The Tragedie of King Richard the Second. [] (First Quarto), London: [] Valentine Simmes for Androw Wise, [], published 1597, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
      My Lord of Hereford here whom you call King, / Is a foule traitour to proud Herefords King, / And if you crowne him let me propheſie, / The bloud of Engliſh ſhall manure the ground, / And future ages groane for this foule act, [...]
    • 2020 July 29, Paul Stephen, “A new collaboration centred on New Street”, in Rail, page 54:
      Designed to accommodate 60,000 people per day in the 1960s, the main concourse, entrances and passageways around the station were by then positively groaning under the weight of more than 140,000 passengers every 24 hours.
  2. (figurative) To seemingly creak under the strain of being heavily laden.
    • 1943, H. Lorna Bingham, The Lost Tribe, Sydney: Winn and Co., page 14, column 1:
      That night the table in the outer dining room was just groaning with good things.
  3. (obsolete) To strive after earnestly, as if with groans.
    • [1633], George Herbert, edited by [Nicholas Ferrar], The Temple: Sacred Poems, and Private Ejaculations, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: [] Thomas Buck and Roger Daniel; and are to be sold by Francis Green, [], →OCLC; reprinted London: Elliot Stock, [], 1885, →OCLC:
      Nothing but holy, pure, and clear, / Or that which groaneth to be so.

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