Definition of grind in English:

grind

verb

  • 1[with object] Reduce (something) to small particles or powder by crushing it:

    ‘grind some black pepper over the salad’
    ‘she ground up the rice prior to boiling’
    • ‘After harvesting, the corn needs to be ground into flour.’
    • ‘Then the blackened beans are ground in a mortar.’
    • ‘In a mortar and pestle, grind the chilli, salt and shrimp paste.’
    • ‘Millet is ground into flour and made into porridge by boiling it in water.’
    • ‘Leaf samples were ground in small mortars in liquid nitrogen.’
    • ‘She took to grinding the medication into powder and snorting it.’
    • ‘For the chicken, using a mortar and pestle, grind garlic and salt to form a paste.’
    • ‘Finally, drizzle the whole lot with olive oil and grind black pepper over everything.’
    • ‘Tenant farmers who toiled on the estate were obliged to use the mill to grind their corn.’
    • ‘Then the corn is coarsely ground to break the germ loose from other kernel components.’
    • ‘The bones are cleaned, toasted in oil and then ground into a powder.’
    • ‘If the root is ground to a powder, as some growers do, it is then boiled to extract the liquorice essence.’
    • ‘Addicts either swallow the tablets or grind them into powder that can be inhaled or turned into liquid and injected.’
    • ‘The bark of this tree is collected fresh, well before the sunrise, and is ground up to make a herbal preparation.’
    • ‘He grinds pigments to a fine powder, then brushes them onto wet plaster, following the outlines of his sketches transferred earlier.’
    • ‘The bark is ground to an off-white powder that has a sweet taste and a pinelike odor.’
    • ‘With so many Mexican items in stores across the US, you can make your own chili powder by grinding your own spices.’
    • ‘People grind the seed and use the powder to boil the tea.’
    • ‘You take a handful of each herb, put it in a mortar, and grind it to a powder.’
    • ‘The dried plant material was weighed and then ground finely using a ball mill.’
    crush, pound, pulverize, mill, powder, granulate, grate, mince, shred, crumble, pestle, mash, smash, press, fragment, kibble
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    1. 1.1 Sharpen, smooth, or produce (something) by crushing or by friction:
      ‘power from a waterwheel was used to grind cutlery’
      • ‘Unaided by some kind of equipment, a person cannot grind down the surface of a rock; that's why a field geologist carries a hammer.’
      • ‘The large upright stone also bears the marks of where new adze heads were ground and sharpened.’
      • ‘The generator is a compound surface grinder used to grind curves in the surface of the lens’
      • ‘When carving the background areas, one must be careful not to grind away too much white stone.’
      • ‘Using a diamond grinder, she ground some of the bones flush with the concrete surface.’
      • ‘After cooling slowly, the piece is then ground to remove excess enamel, and polished.’
      • ‘In both operations, cutters had to be removed from the arbors and ground to resharpen.’
      • ‘Only in the black leaf bases did they reach the surfaces exposed by grinding off the charcoal.’
      • ‘Some people actually shave or grind down parts of their skates so that they can fit larger wheels.’
      • ‘Next, Tinsley Laboratories will grind and polish the mirrors and finally Ball builds the telescope.’
      • ‘He studies, grinds and polishes Japanese swords and daggers for sale to museums and private collectors across the world.’
      sharpen, whet, make sharp, make sharper, hone, file, strop
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    2. 1.2 Operate (a mill or machine) by turning the handle:
      ‘she was grinding a coffee mill’
      • ‘Anyone who likes preparing a good meal has undoubtedly had the experience of enthusiastically shaking or grinding the pepper-mill over a pot only to find themselves in a sneezing fit moments later.’
      • ‘We had no bread for quite a while, so we got wheat berries, and took turns grinding a coffee mill with our hands.’
    3. 1.3[no object] (of a mill or machine) work with a crushing action:
      ‘the old mill was grinding again’
      • ‘It is curious to imagine what chaff might be produced if these two millstones ever came together, and started grinding.’
      • ‘But the mills of the gods sometimes grind in an unknown's favour.’
      • ‘Ever since the Americans built up the Dominican sugar industry in the 1920s, it is Haitian muscle that has kept the mills grinding and the cane cut.’
      • ‘Its engine grinds in the background, twenty-four hours a day.’
      • ‘And those mills grind remorselessly and cruelly at times.’
      • ‘But last week the machinery at last began to grind in a legal process which has been delayed by nine years of political wrangling.’
      • ‘A handful of huts, a small mill grinding by the stream's edge, a place of twenty ploughs, no more.’
      • ‘The company compares it to a turning machine that grinds.’
      • ‘At 6am the garbage truck makes its way down the street, brakes grinding and compactor whirring.’
      • ‘The wheels of the mill are driven by water from the stream and as they turn the whole mill starts to grind and shake with sieves, wheels, drive belts all tied into the water power.’
  • 2Rub or cause to rub together gratingly:

    [no object] ‘tectonic plates that inexorably grind against each other’
    [with object] ‘he keeps me awake at night, grinding his teeth’
    • ‘Two plates meet just off Sumatra's coast, grinding together and sending tremors through the region.’
    • ‘Excruciating backache feels like the bones grinding together.’
    • ‘The air around him slowly grew warmer, and he began to hear the heavy clunk and crunch of metal slabs grinding together.’
    • ‘Where these plates meet, they grind together, creating earthquakes.’
    • ‘Eleanor clutched a handful of sand, grinding her teeth audibly.’
    • ‘Simon growled and clenched his fist, his teeth grinding together furiously.’
    • ‘Rochester is a study in contrasts, a medium-size city that seems to sit astride the fault line where the new economy grinds up against the old.’
    • ‘She closed her eyes, her teeth grinding together.’
    • ‘The brain keeps trying to compensate, the teeth grind, and the whole jaw tenses up.’
    • ‘As we get closer to town, the bus begins making stops more frequently, the wheels grinding angrily on their worn bearings each time.’
    • ‘The discs act as cushions that prevent the bones of the spine from grinding together, and also as small shock absorbers.’
    • ‘I could feel my teeth grinding against one another.’
    • ‘The US and European economies can be regarded as two giant tectonic plates that grind against each other.’
    • ‘My teeth grind together, and my hackles rise, and I want to find the radio or whatever it is and rip it to bits.’
    • ‘For instance, the dentist might ask your parents if they hear you grinding your teeth when you're asleep.’
    • ‘When she reached the hill, she really began pushing herself, her wheels grinding against the hard, rocky ground.’
    • ‘They rode the rest of the way in silence, listening to the gears grinding as they were lowered down.’
    • ‘Rudolf could hear the metal of the wheels grind against the metal of the tracks.’
    • ‘I heard stone grinding against stone and slowly the bookcase slid aside revealing a spiral staircase.’
    • ‘It is a fault line where a basaltic oceanic plate grinds against a continental plate and dives into the hot core of the earth - a subduction zone.’
    rub, grate, scrape, rasp
    gnash, grit
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    1. 2.1[with object] Press or rub (something) into a surface:
      ‘she ground a half-smoked cigarette into the ashtray’
      • ‘When we had new Tarmac laid on our drive, people were not only driving through it but actually grinding their tyres into the newly-finished surface, in spite of the warning signs.’
      • ‘He dropped his cigarette and ground it with his foot, the very motion making me ripple.’
      • ‘Sebastian took one last puff on his cigarette before plucking it from his mouth, and grinding it into the ashtray.’
      • ‘Kienan tossed his cigarette away and ground it into the deck.’
      • ‘In time this will be ground into the path and form a solid long lasting surface, but currently it can be like cycling through sand.’
      • ‘Jenny bent down to grind out her cigarette stub in the lank grass and then tossed it with a stone-skipping twist of her white wrist into the tangled shrubbery.’
    2. 2.2[no object, with adverbial] Move noisily and laboriously:
      ‘the truck was grinding slowly up the hill’
      • ‘The justice system grinds slowly and gets off to many a false start, but it ends up triumphant.’
      • ‘The elevator grinds loudly, about to reach the limit of its ascent.’
      • ‘Remember, the wheels of the justice system can grind very slowly, at least in the US.’
      • ‘He can then grind slowly westwards, picking up centres as the rest fight amongst themselves.’
      • ‘It was a slow day at work on the Monday before Melbourne Cup and the wheels of the Victorian bureaucracy were grinding slower than usual.’
      • ‘Three-wheeled beach vans selling everything from cigarettes to cakes grind their way through the sand.’
      • ‘We've descended with him in an old cage lift that grinds and lurches down a shaft sunk in 1885.’
      • ‘I would sit on the roofs of listing, overloaded trucks grinding up and down hundreds of switchbacks across the gorge-scarred Yunnan province.’
      • ‘That horrid smell, that horrid noise; the hissing of the wheels grinding over the asphalt road, that drilling noise.’
      • ‘The platform rose, grinding loudly as it went, reminding the girl that there was something else that needed fixing besides her bike.’
      move laboriously, strain, struggle, drag oneself, fight one's way, labour
      View synonyms
  • 3informal [no object] (of a dancer) gyrate the hips erotically:

    ‘go-go girls grinding to blaring disco’
    • ‘Very simple, very direct, able to make you move and grind.’
    • ‘Christina and Toby stood up, went to the dance floor and started grinding.’
    • ‘He laughed and moved to grind with the scarily leggy female.’
    • ‘Jude glanced around, seeing Andy grinding with some girl who was not Claudia.’
    • ‘Although the video did have a lot of ‘bloke appeal’, with the singer and her dancers grinding and gyrating from start to finish, I got the impression that it was all her idea.’
    • ‘Some guy moved in behind me and started to grind against me.’
    • ‘Both get to grind against some scantily clad girls.’
    • ‘She crawled on top of him and started dancing and grinding slowly on top of him.’
    • ‘By the time I caught up to her, it was to behold the sight of her and Jake making out and grinding to the music.’
    • ‘He escorted me down a narrow hall and back to the party, where I was met with many people dancing and grinding to some music that got on my nerves.’
    • ‘I actually ended up dancing - grinding - with my Aunt Carolyn's date, Jake.’
    • ‘People were bumping and grinding together on the dance floor and others were either making out in a free corner or sitting and trying to have a conversation.’
    • ‘Soon she's balancing dance lessons with recording sessions and grinding with boy-band superstars, even her lifelong crush.’
    • ‘I was not surprised as I saw Melissa grinding with Alex on the dance floor.’
    • ‘Everyone was dancing and grinding in very unusual ways.’
    • ‘People were grinding, and just dancing, holding beers in their hands.’
    • ‘Jack knew that Angela wasn't the type of girl to grind while dancing, and he doubted whether she knew how to.’
    1. 3.1British vulgar slang, dated Have sexual intercourse.

noun

  • 1A crushing or grating sound or motion:

    ‘the crunch and grind of bulldozers’
    figurative ‘the slow grind of the US legal system’
    • ‘The song seamlessly carries on with 20 singers and the simple grind of a handful of chords.’
    • ‘Hypnotic grinds and guitar driven loops are this bands arsenal.’
    • ‘The sound of the hatch opening was replaced with a loud grind at the front of the pod.’
    • ‘The slow grind of American law has produced indictments.’
    • ‘He captures the endless grind of urban progress with background noises such as busses and television dominating the soundscape.’
    • ‘The leaves splintered and crunched with a profound grind: amplified by the silence of the wood.’
    • ‘Yet we know that not even the best technology, unattended, stands a chance against the slow grind of nature.’
    • ‘The uncomfortably familiar grind and click of a rampaging computer sounded again, the numbers beginning anew.’
    • ‘The woman is a predatory siren whose fierce, angular movements are accompanied by the creaks and grinds of unoiled door hinges.’
    • ‘Tempos run from a zillion beats per minute to a slow, torturous grind.’
    • ‘The car stopped with a ding, then letting out a grind as it began to slide to its left.’
    • ‘People discover they are capable of things they had hardly dreamt of, and realise talents and potentials previously crushed by the grind of capitalism.’
    • ‘Leaving his horse he walked around the perimeter, the grind of his boots on gravel and grass the only sound in the evening stillness.’
    • ‘"We use half a tank getting up the Kaimais and then we have the slow grind down the other side, " he said.’
    1. 1.1 The size of ground particles:
      ‘only the right grind gives you all the fine flavour’
      • ‘The flour texture is a medium grind perfectly suited for my breads, cookies and muffins.’
      • ‘This grind we call a Turkish Grind which is the finest grind yet.’
      • ‘Visitors can choose either roasted coffee beans, medium grind coffee, fine blend coffee or cappuccino in different sizes and packets.’
      • ‘The motor will not clog up with a very fine grind.’
  • 2Hard dull work:

    ‘relief from the daily grind’
    • ‘Each worker has a tale of hard work, staff shortages and the daily grind to survive.’
    • ‘Feel the need to escape the daily grind?’
    • ‘It's like taking a step away from the daily grind, the hard slog, the trials and the tribulations so you can focus on nothing but having fun for three whole days.’
    • ‘Some say the grind of the season will break you down mentally.’
    • ‘Such preseason work will pay off through the grind of a long season.’
    • ‘Escaping from their day-to-day grind was the sole reason for signing up in the first place.’
    • ‘Her working life is a relentless grind, just as it is for many working people.’
    • ‘Work is turning into a grind with 3 projects on the go.’
    • ‘Others ditch the daily grind for a slower-paced life.’
    • ‘A friend of mine has escaped the daily grind for a jaunt to Paris.’
    • ‘And it gave his life a drastic turn, pulling him away from the ulcerating grind of a big-city businessman.’
    • ‘I understand that retirement can be a major shock to the system if you have been used to working for your living and coping with the pressures and aggravations of the daily grind.’
    • ‘But it is a tough grind for the animals and the men.’
    • ‘All the worries, all the tears and anger and stress, the relentless grind of her life - gone.’
    • ‘For most working women, it is a long, hard grind.’
    • ‘She feels that her job has freed her from both the grind of the touring lifestyle and pressures she would face to tailor her work to the tastes of out-of-town presenters.’
    • ‘His decision to give up the daily grind was made when he took 10 weeks off in the summer of 2001 to ponder the future.’
    • ‘It's time to take a break from the normal grind, slow down, take it easy, and of course… listen to relaxing music.’
    • ‘The work should pay off during the grind of August and September.’
    • ‘It was a hell of a lot of fun for a while, but eventually turned into a grind.’
    chore, slog, travail
    drudgery, toil, hard work, donkey work, labour, slavery, exertion
    fag, sweat
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1US informal An excessively hard-working student.
      • ‘In gymnastics, like in school, there are grinds who learn everything by rote.’
      • ‘She is an insufferably sensible young woman — a grind at school, hiding behind thick glasses and inside bulky cardigans.’
      • ‘About 1957, MIT undergraduates began referring to ‘gnurds,’ studious grinds, especially in science and engineering.’
      • ‘You sound like a total grind. Like you never skipped a class the day after a party.’
      • ‘In a class full of grinds that sent more than eighty kids on to Ivy League schools each year, he finished first, effortlessly, and sailed through Harvard with equal ease.’
    2. 2.2Irish A private tuition class:
      ‘experienced teacher offers grinds in Maths and Irish, to all levels’
      • ‘The rich can afford to send their children to fee-paying schools and then top that up with grinds to get them into the best courses.’
      • ‘If even half of Leaving Cert students were paying for grinds at this rate of €45 per hour, it would make the industry worth €50 million a year.’
      • ‘The top schools cater for a cohort of students whose parents can afford to pay for grinds and revision courses.’
      • ‘Expensive grinds and extra tutorial classes also feature in today's lifestyle of even the youngest students.’
      • ‘Therefore, in a school that sends a large percentage of its students to university, the majority of those students may have had grinds.’
  • 3informal A dancer's erotic gyration of the hips:

    ‘a bump and grind’
    • ‘Also notable was the choreography of dirty grinds and salsa steps, which were pulled off with equally impressive aplomb.’
    • ‘She smiled seductively when she saw him, and walked over, swinging her hips in a slow grind.’
    • ‘Two women did concentrated bumps and grinds, bumps and grinds, bumps and grinds.’
    • ‘A voluptuous black girl in leather and a thicket of beaded dreadlocks jumped in front of him and mirrored his strokes, his bumps and grinds.’
    • ‘How often do we get to see a bump and grind performed on pointe?’
    • ‘Diana, who had gotten up from the table to fetch another biscuit, did an impromptu bump and grind.’
    1. 3.1British vulgar slang, dated An act of sexual intercourse.

Phrases

  • grind to a halt (or come to a grinding halt)

    • Slow down gradually and then stop completely:

      ‘in summer traffic all but grinds to a halt’
      ‘the surge of modernism finally seemed to grind to a halt’
      • ‘It was roughly at this time I noticed that whenever I spoke emotionally, my speech came slower and slower until grinding to a halt.’
      • ‘Less than an hour before, traffic ground to a halt when a truck had a blow-out.’
      • ‘We breezed into the airport, got our tickets, cleared customs - and came to a grinding halt at immigration.’
      • ‘The bus then slowly ground to a halt.’
      • ‘My exercise regime came to a grinding halt about a month ago when I got a knee effusion out of nowhere.’
      • ‘Thanks to some quick measure taken by the authorities, the work on the project which had come to a grinding halt once, has finally reached the completion stage.’
      • ‘We came to a grinding halt on the side of the road to find petrol leaking from the bottom of the carburettor.’
      • ‘By the time they drove two more blocks, traffic had ground to a halt.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, traffic ground to a halt on many major routes due to speed restrictions and fallen trees, police said.’
      • ‘Motorists are concerned that city centre traffic could grind to a halt when the street is closed from October 31.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • grind away

    • Work or study hard:

      ‘he began to grind away in a job as a research assistant’
      • ‘Some people think that the only practical way to work is to take a single task and grind away until it is done, and then look around to determine what is the right next piece of work to do.’
      • ‘That is the Third Division, you have to battle and grind away.’
      • ‘He has continued to grind away at the project to which he dedicated himself more than a decade ago.’
      • ‘You just have to keep grinding away and hope that it happens for you.’
      • ‘Keeping up the illusion of grinding away at the same old job isn't enough, however.’
      • ‘It really is encouraging to the guys who have been here grinding away.’
      • ‘It's going to take a bunch of us grinding away at it full-time to make this stuff work.’
      • ‘It's more flexible, it's clean, your're scheduled to meet your clients and left alone with them, instead of grinding away to meet quotas and schedules with bosses looking over your shoulder.’
      • ‘It's quite depressing for the kind of writers who grind away at it for years sort of honing their craft and then do the book.’
      • ‘You use it only when you feel that the other side is simply grinding away to get the last penny off your price.’
  • grind someone down

    • Wear someone down with continuous harsh treatment:

      ‘mundane everyday things which just grind people down’
      • ‘The conditions of Indonesian women in 1900 were atrocious; they were ground down by their social position in general, by the aristocracy and by Dutch imperialism.’
      • ‘I've been doing this kind of thing for more than two years now, and it's grinding me down.’
      • ‘As much as you try to be professional, it does grind you down.’
      • ‘The job was grinding him down without making him rich.’
      • ‘We know that his years of drudgery have ground him down.’
      • ‘And I agree, the pain does grind us down and is something that can't really be explained in words.’
      • ‘I suspect they were trying to grind me down into submission.’
      • ‘A prominent public figure, she was also the survivor of an unhappy family, and private sadness had ground her down by the time she reached her 50s.’
      • ‘‘We are fighting a continual battle and eventually it grinds you down,’ she said.’
      oppress, persecute, tyrannize, suppress
      afflict, maltreat, ill-treat, scourge
      torture, torment, molest, harass, harry
      View synonyms
  • grind on

    • Continue for a long time in a wearying or tedious way:

      ‘the rail talks grind on’
      • ‘His troubles began in February 2000 but the case against him continues to grind on.’
      • ‘So many copies were made that not all of them were destroyed as the centuries ground on.’
      • ‘If the economy does not get going soon and if the guerrilla war grinds on then the tide could easily turn.’
      • ‘He must have been suffering agonies of worry as the weeks grind on and foot and mouth continues to ravage the land.’
      • ‘Even as the proceedings grind on, it is increasingly apparent that no one has any clear idea of where the inquiry is headed or indeed where it will end up.’
      drag on, go on and on, plod on, pass slowly, move slowly, creep along, limp along, crawl, hang heavy, go at a snail's pace, wear on, go on too long
      continue, carry on, go on, keep on, keep going, proceed
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  • grind something out

    • Produce something dull or tedious slowly and laboriously:

      ‘the band was grinding out the inevitable summer songs’
      • ‘We ground it out in the trenches, creating the identity of the magazine issue by issue.’
      • ‘These last couple of months, I'll grind it out and see if I'm in the plans for next year or not.’
      • ‘Gradually, however, productivity improvements have been ground out and Germany's relative unit labour costs have fallen.’
      • ‘Anne McCaffrey, bless her ink-stained fingers, keeps grinding them out.’
      • ‘I've had six years at this club and the situation we're in now is terrible but we've just got to keep going and grind results out.’
      • ‘The entrepreneur who is on the verge of dismal failure, grinds it out and builds a successful business.’
      • ‘Right now I'd be grinding it out on Wall Street and probably hating life.’
      • ‘He growled slowly, seemingly having great difficulty grinding the words out.’
      • ‘He said: ‘I know it wasn't all that pretty but we keep grinding the results out even though we are missing some good players.’’
      • ‘I think there's a realization, obviously, that, look, we're going to go through a process, and it's in the courts now, and the machinery is going to have to grind it out, and it's going to take some time.’
      produce, generate, crank out, turn out
      churn out, trot out, bang out
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Origin

Old English grindan, probably of Germanic origin. Although no cognates are known, it may be distantly related to Latin frendere rub away, gnash.

Pronunciation:

grind

/ɡrʌɪnd/