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From Middle English gronen, from Old English grānian (to groan; lament; murmur), 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.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. 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.
  2. (obsolete) To strive after earnestly, as if with groans.
    • (Can we date this quote by Herbert and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Nothing but holy, pure, and clear, / Or that which groaneth to be so.