Definition of groan in English:

groan

verb

[no object]
  • 1Make a deep inarticulate sound conveying pain, despair, pleasure, etc.

    ‘Marty groaned and pulled the blanket over his head’
    • ‘He removed his boots and eased his burning feet into the cool water, groaning with pleasure as the water moved up over his ankles.’
    • ‘I groaned loudly in frustration and buried my head back under the pillow.’
    • ‘He slowly pulled himself up, and groaned as pain shot up and down his body.’
    • ‘I rubbed my head again, groaning miserably, and slowly followed her outside.’
    • ‘At the word " test, " the class groaned in unison.’
    • ‘He was going to have to sit up, and he nearly groaned out loud at the thought.’
    • ‘Mark groaned again in pain and tried to cover his ears.’
    • ‘I groaned with pleasure as her hands settled low on my back.’
    • ‘Danielle groans with frustration and sinks down into the welcoming pillows of her bed.’
    • ‘Her eyes filled with tears as she looked at him and heard him groan softly in pain.’
    • ‘She tried to pull his shirt away from the wound but he groaned in pain.’
    • ‘I groaned and complained that I was tired, but she insisted that it was my fault for staying up with Peter in his room all night.’
    • ‘The man shifted his weight and groaned in agony.’
    • ‘He took her bag from her, groaning slightly under the weight.’
    • ‘He packed his things into his backpack and tested it on his shoulders, groaning slightly as he adjusted to the weight.’
    • ‘Kam groaned into her pillow, rolling over to slam the alarm off.’
    • ‘He sighed and slowly sat up, groaning with effort.’
    • ‘Instantly I groaned in agony and lifted my arm to block out the light.’
    • ‘She groaned in pleasure as she sank into the water.’
    • ‘I sat in the passenger seat, groaning every time we went over a bump.’
    moan, murmur, whine, whimper, mewl, bleat, sigh
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    1. 1.1with direct speech Say something in a despairing or miserable tone.
      ‘‘Oh no!’ I groaned’
      • ‘‘Arrggh, not so loud,’ he groaned.’
      • ‘"You are going to kill me, " Hannah groaned under her breath.’
      • ‘Have you ever been in the middle of a weight workout and groaned, ‘This is killing me!’’
      • ‘‘I'm not feeling well,’ she groaned.’
      moan, murmur, whine, whimper, mewl, bleat, sigh
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Complain; grumble.
      ‘they were moaning and groaning about management’
      • ‘Well, you can bitch, gripe, moan, groan, whine, cry and complain all you want.’
      • ‘‘Scotland moans and groans so much about not having enough direct flights and tourism but there's no effort to turn it around,’ she said.’
      • ‘National members can whinge, whine, moan, and groan, but in the end, people are better off after 6 years of this Government.’
      • ‘Normally, I'd have groaned and complained about him touching me, but I didn't say anything.’
      • ‘They just can't work him out, so they mump and moan and gripe and groan about how he doesn't lead from the front.’
      • ‘She had spent over an hour moaning and groaning about how stuffed a teenager's life was.’
      • ‘He had a very well paid and exclusive job millions of people would kill for and was still moaning and groaning about Matt.’
      • ‘Adding to the pressure on the company, investors are groaning about measly profit margins the company has reported.’
      • ‘My mom was walking around the kitchen, groaning and complaining about the weather when I made my way downstairs.’
      • ‘I grumbled and groaned all the way to the door, then opened it.’
      • ‘I have a strong feeling that there is going to be a lot more moaning and groaning by these other strikers this season and possibly the departure of one or two of them.’
      • ‘If it had happened to me, I think I would have needed at least a week off work and there would have been plenty of moaning and groaning.’
      • ‘Once the initial elation of a happy event dies down, we quickly revert to type, moaning and groaning.’
      • ‘I'm of the age where I have carte blanche to grumble and groan about Christmas.’
      • ‘Yet my four-year-old grumbled and groaned on every visit.’
      • ‘Grumpy old codgers such as Will Self and Bob Geldof have been moaning and groaning on prime-time TV about what really gets their goat.’
      • ‘Costello won't like it of course, and will grumble and groan privately, but lacks the courage to actually do anything.’
      • ‘Through all of the above, not once has Tiger moaned or groaned about how unlucky he was or, conversely, how lucky his opponent was.’
      • ‘They may be right, and if they are I shall moan and groan about the cold, the wet, the wind and whatever Nature may chose to visit upon me, of course I shall.’
      • ‘We are not going to whinge about it, there's no good moaning or groaning about it, let's get on and get it over with.’
      complain, grumble, moan, mutter, lament, protest, object, make a fuss, find fault
      View synonyms
  • 2(of an object) make a low creaking sound when pressure or weight is applied.

    ‘James slumped back into his chair, making it groan’
    • ‘My car groaned a little on the rough, rocky roads along the lake's edge.’
    • ‘The floors seemed uneven and walking around in the room caused the walls to creak and groan.’
    • ‘As numbers of retirees increase, the health system groans under the strain.’
    • ‘Now supermarket shelves groan under Mexican tacos, Japanese miso soup powder and Italian pasta.’
    • ‘The ancient, dusty floorboards groaned miserably as Jacob laboriously climbed off his mattress.’
    • ‘The old white couch groans as Julian drops his weight down upon it.’
    • ‘The impressive tent also housed the long tables groaning from the weight of delicious French produce on display.’
    • ‘As my bus slowly rattled and groaned its way out of La Paz for the long journey south, I shuddered at what I'd let myself in for.’
    • ‘The metal rungs creaked and groaned as she put her weight on them, but held firm against the stone wall.’
    • ‘Then, they faded away, and the machinery groaned to a halt.’
    • ‘The local economy is groaning under the strain of this baby boom.’
    • ‘The old stairs creaked and groaned as I climbed them and suddenly, I felt very much like an intruder.’
    • ‘The stairs creaked and groaned and rattled in protest.’
    • ‘Now my shelves groan under the weight of vinyl and CDs which remain unheard and unloved.’
    • ‘The healthcare system groaned and creaked under the rising strain.’
    • ‘He climbed out of the wagon gingerly, his muscles groaning in protest.’
    • ‘The postbag was positively groaning this week.’
    • ‘The springs groaned loudly under our combined weight.’
    • ‘The platform creaked and groaned but did not give way.’
    • ‘The door creaked and groaned in protest as she slowly pushed it open.’
    creak, grate, grind, jar
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    1. 2.1groan with/under Be heavily loaded with.
      ‘tables groan with joints of venison’
      • ‘I remember the Sunday afternoon teas at my grandparents' house as a child, the table groaning with various cakes and biscuits.’
      • ‘Our table was groaning with plates of meze and dressed with chilled bottles of Villa Doluca (the ubiquitous vin de table of Turkey).’
      • ‘And then there's food - glorious food - tables groaning with breads, pies, fruitcakes and dainty sweets wrapped with red and green ribbon.’
      • ‘We cleaned Sainsbury's out of booze and party food, so when the guests started to arrive, they were greeted by a table groaning with nibbles and drinks.’
      • ‘The table in the centre of the shop positively groans with the weight of olives and at weekends especially customers queue to relieve it of its burden.’
      • ‘These collective venues host many of the events at this year's 35th Perth Festival, in a programme groaning with international stars and talent.’
      • ‘Riddled with pavement cafes and dotted with cosy bars, the city groans with museums and magical art galleries, cinemas and designer outlets.’
      • ‘The best souk is in Muscat, where stalls groan under the weight of antique silver (all sold by weight), tribal art from Zanzibar, dishdashas, frankincense and exotic perfumes.’
      • ‘As autumn approaches, vegetable gardens throughout the state are groaning with abundant supplies of zucchini and fresh corn.’
      • ‘It's a sign of the times that on the other side of the building container after container is lined up, newly arrived by cargo ship mainly from the Faroes and Iceland, and groaning with fish.’
      • ‘Summer is the time when local fields are groaning with fresh strawberries and visitors can munch their way around the strawberry patches.’
      • ‘Christmas cards often show tables groaning with such fare, along with the robins and snow, but increasingly we can see pohutakawa and pukeko alongside the traditional images.’
      • ‘Tables groaning with bargain-priced DVDs and VCDs are set up out front.’
      • ‘At the inn, over a breakfast table groaning with pecan granola, blueberry muffins, apple cakes and steaming coffee, my landlady confirms my suspicions.’
      • ‘It was an ideal stone's throw from the totally unspoilt village square with a local restaurant - with a stunning view out to sea - and a small supermarket groaning with fresh produce.’
      • ‘With so many targets presenting themselves and his coffers groaning with cash, he will be spoilt for choice on Wednesday.’
      • ‘We had a trestle table positively groaning with gifts to unload, so it wasn't a quick process.’
      • ‘There you will find whole websites, huge areas of cyberspace groaning with appalling games.’
      • ‘Sometimes we write on what seems like a relatively trivial theme, and the mailbox groans with correspondence.’
      • ‘For a moment we gazed like children at the shelves groaning with boxes of chocolate, then we quickly, efficiently, and joyously filled our boots.’
      • ‘Every evergreen bough groaned with half a foot of snow; the streets and sidewalks had disappeared.’
    2. 2.2groan beneath/under Be oppressed by.
      ‘families groaning under mortgage increases’
      • ‘Many frontier inhabitants had perished, some cities had experienced food shortages, several colonies had been plunged into debt, and the citizenry groaned under heavy taxes.’
      • ‘If treatment is further delayed, the health service, already groaning under the additional burden Aids creates, will grow increasingly less able to contemplate introducing it.’
      • ‘ETA posits a land groaning under the yoke of imperial Spain - even though a territory called the Basque land probably never existed, and much of what they claim is in France.’
      • ‘For more than twenty years the anthracite miners have groaned under most intolerable and inhuman conditions.’
      • ‘Most people seem to be groaning under the load of spam they get these days.’
      • ‘If Kerry had had his way, the Soviet Union and the nations behind the Iron Curtain would still be in place - groaning under inefficient, totalitarian Communist regimes.’
      • ‘David Mackenzie said the courts were groaning under the strain of dealing with hundreds of minor offences over the past fortnight.’
      • ‘In addition, the donations themselves are tax deductible, so if you're one of those groaning under our top marginal tax rate, the effective cost is only $250.’
      • ‘Martin has promised to pump $9 billion into a system that is groaning under the strain of an aging population.’
      • ‘Both countries have generous social security arrangements and both economies are groaning under the weight of all of this.’
      • ‘Worldcom's bankruptcy filing has lessons for domestic lenders groaning under a mountain of non-performing assets estimated to be anywhere between Rs 50,000 crore and Rs 75,000 crore.’
      • ‘Mr McGrath also feels the system is groaning under the massive demand for sex offender treatment programmes.’
      • ‘Just about every public service groans under the weight of paperwork, and the police are the latest to suffer.’
      • ‘Much of that money was not used usefully and with almost no industrial base the country is groaning under its debt burden.’

noun

  • 1A deep inarticulate sound conveying pain, despair, pleasure, etc.

    ‘she lay back with a groan’
    • ‘Felix sat up with a groan, as the pain in his shoulder shot through his body.’
    • ‘Without warning, another shot rings out, followed by a deep groan.’
    • ‘The girl struggles violently, her groans becoming inhuman howls and deep, guttural moans of psychological pain.’
    • ‘Suddenly, they heard loud groans of disappointment.’
    • ‘He rolled off of me, unable to contain his groan of disappointment.’
    • ‘He let a low groan escape his lips.’
    • ‘My hips pressed closer to him, and a slight groan escaped from deep within my throat.’
    • ‘The American lets out a groan of despair as he mis-hits a backhand at 30-15 down.’
    • ‘Kyle doubled over in pain with a loud groan, holding his abdomen.’
    • ‘The firemen rush in and immediately hear muffled groans coming from the aisle.’
    • ‘The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans.’
    • ‘With a groan, Nigel clicked off his cell phone and returned it to his pocket.’
    • ‘Two thirds of the class emitted a collective groan of dismay.’
    • ‘Will gave a low groan of pleasure and Agatha smiled against his lips.’
    • ‘Rika screamed again, throwing her head back and letting out a very loud groan of frustration.’
    • ‘He suppressed a groan of disappointment and sighed instead.’
    • ‘She sighed, then stifled a groan of pain.’
    • ‘She gave a small groan of pain as he twisted her arm slightly.’
    • ‘Rupert rubbed his face, letting out a low groan of pain.’
    • ‘Moans and groans from the wounded reached his ears and filled him with the deepest sorrow.’
    moan, murmur, whine, whimper, mewl, bleat, sigh
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A complaint.
      ‘listen to everyone's moans and groans’
      • ‘I can understand their moans and groans about one or two refereeing decisions, but they blew it.’
      • ‘Not surprisingly, perhaps, his appointment was greeted with jeers, groans and moans.’
      • ‘Can we have more imaginative and creative solutions to this problem rather than moans and groans?’
      • ‘As we concrete our cites and place drains to deliver the water straight into our rivers then Britain will continue to be flooded and endless moans and groans will do nothing about it.’
      • ‘Yet, despite the moans and groans, few people would ultimately argue against the need for employment rights.’
      • ‘There was a chorus of groans and protests, but they ended in an annoyed state of resignation as everyone knew there wasn't much of an alternative.’
      • ‘They need to be controlled, irrespective of the moans and groans from those motorists who want to drive where they want at the speed they want.’
      • ‘A fall in betting turnover is blamed, and any more disruptive action will hardly help that, and the moans and groans of generally fairly well off people find limited public sympathy.’
      • ‘The pupils come to me with their moans and groans, but I have heard nothing regarding them being attacked.’
      • ‘After yesterday morning's training program, Ngubane ordered the players to be back at noon sparking groans and moans.’
      • ‘In fact, to listen to all of the moans and groans, it seems like just about the only thing the rankings got right was the No.1.’
      • ‘This is part of the issue in that the people, with all their groans and grumbles, are by and large happy with Skipton as it is.’
      • ‘Despite moans and groans, they complied with orders and continued their journey.’
      • ‘And now the moans and groans of the over 50s have been given an airing in a survey.’
      • ‘I hear many moans and groans from bar, shop and restaurant owners that profits and numbers are getting lower every year.’
      • ‘The guests did as instructed amongst groans and mutters.’
      • ‘Years of moans and groans about the setting of the memorial came to an end this week as scaffolding was removed to reveal the new wall.’
      • ‘He flashed his badge, ignoring the groans and grumbles from the rest of the people in line.’
      • ‘And judging by the moans and groans coming from some supporters at the moment you would think Burnley are locked in a tailspin of cataclysmic proportions.’
      • ‘I'd love it if they'd put up a fight against his nomination, but I seriously doubt they will beyond a few moans and groans for theater.’
      complaint, grumble, objection, protest, protestation, grievance, moan, mutter, muttering, carping
      View synonyms
  • 2A low creaking sound made by an object under pressure.

    ‘the protesting groan of timbers’
    • ‘Troy got up early to hear loud creaks and groans from the west side of the ship.’
    • ‘In his heart he knew that these were nothing but foolish thoughts and that the sounds he could hear were just the unfamiliar creaks and groans of the old house but that didn't make the slightest bit of difference.’
    • ‘It's an old house, full of creaks and groans and other house sounds.’
    • ‘There was a distinct groan as the hinges protested and a loud bang as the doors swung fully open.’
    • ‘Initially it seems that the ship is grounded as solidly as a breakwater, but after a while the creaks and groans are evidence of movement, however slight this may be.’
    • ‘Opening without creak or groan, it revealed the loveliest room Sara had ever imagined.’
    • ‘I smiled in return and dumped my bag on the table, which let out a small groan of protest.’
    • ‘The ship came to rest with a groan and the familiar sound of a powering-down engine.’
    • ‘Occasional sounds of the ship reverberated around him, but having been journeying aboard the Majestic for a week now, he had grown used to the creaks and groans that echoed through its hull.’
    • ‘Just as he was about to get up to look for a parachute, there were metallic groans and pings from the right side of the plane as the wing tore off, and the plane started rolling clockwise.’
    • ‘I heard a low grunt, a noncommittal noise followed by the groan of the door closing.’
    • ‘The howling wind was still making its presence felt, shaking the structure of the building, causing countless creaks and groans to rise up from its foundations.’
    creaking, creak, grating, grinding, jarring
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • groan inwardly

    • Feel dismayed by something but remain silent.

      ‘everything has a tepid inevitability, and even as you smile you may be groaning inwardly’
      • ‘She stood, looking around and groaning inwardly.’
      • ‘He groaned inwardly; that had certainly been a poor choice of words.’
      • ‘As people started to gradually file in, I looked around the room, groaning inwardly at the sight of Blaise and his group.’
      • ‘I looked over at Samantha, groaning inwardly.’
      • ‘Edie groaned inwardly; this was a moment she'd been trying to avoid.’
      • ‘The class' ears perked up, but Ella groaned inwardly, now Katrina would say that they were going to do a project of some sort, either requiring a group or worse a partner.’
      • ‘I groaned inwardly… I knew he was going to break up with me, I just knew it.’
      • ‘She groaned inwardly and put her hand on her head in despair.’
      • ‘Eleanor groaned inwardly and swiveled in her chair to face Jacob.’
      • ‘Hearing someone shout her name, she groaned inwardly and turned.’

Origin

Old English grānian, of Germanic origin; related to German greinen ‘grizzle, whine’, grinsen ‘grin’, also probably to grin.

Pronunciation

groan

/ɡrəʊn/