Word of the Day: grind

Word of the Day
June 20, 2016
grind (verb, noun)
/graɪnd/  sound icon
A coffee grinder
To grind means 'to crush into small particles' or 'to produce by crushing,' as mills do with grains. It also means 'to sharpen something' or 'to make it smooth' by rubbing it. It can mean to 'rub together' as well. Informally, to grind means 'to work or study for long hours,' usually with the adverb "away," and also 'to move your hips suggestively against another person when dancing.' A grind is the size to which particles are ground and, informally, it is really tedious and uninteresting work, and also a person who studies a lot.


Example sentences
Oliver ground the spices using a pestle and mortar.
This mill grinds several types of flour.
The woodcarver is grinding his tools to a sharp edge.
Mary always grinds her teeth in her sleep.
Neil has an exam tomorrow and he's been grinding away at his books all week.
You can see dancers grinding in the movie Dirty Dancing.
This coffee mill can be adjusted to the grind you like.
I'm not enjoying this project; it's a real grind!


Multi-word forms
grind out: to produce in a mechanical way. Example: "Kevin doesn't enjoy his job; he just grinds out the work until it's time to go home."
In the US, the expression 'to grind on someone's nerves' means that something (or someone) is annyoing. Example: "That drilling is grinding on my nerves! I hope they finish repairing the street soon."
Did you know?
There is an expression in English, to keep (or to hold) your nose to the grind (or the grindstone), which means 'to be hard at work.' It's been used since the 15th century, but nobody really knows where it came from. Some people think it may have come from millers making flour, since they sometimes put their noses on the millstones to see if it was overheating. Other people think it refers to knife sharpeners, who often bent down very low when they worked, almost touching their noses to the stone they used to sharpen their knives.
Other forms
grinder (noun), grindingly (adverb)
Grind originated before 950. It comes from the Middle English word grinden, which in turn comes from the Old English word grindan, both meaning 'to grind.' Its roots can be traced to the Gothic word grinda- and the Latin word grendere.
Grind in other languages
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