General English


  • verb to reduce a substance to fine particles by crushing
  • verb to move or work noisily and with difficulty

Cars & Driving

  • verb to smooth or polish by friction or abrasion


  • To reduce in size by removing material by friction or crushing.
  • To sharpen (as a tool) by abrasion.


  • verb to pass food through a machine that reduces it to powder or pulp


  • verb to crush something into tiny pieces


  • noun an act of sexual intercourse. A widespread vulgarism since the 1960s, the word has been used with a sexual connotation since the 16th century.
  • noun a swot, a tediously diligent student, in high-school and college terminology
  • noun the quotidian reality, an oppressive routine, as in the ‘daily grind’

Origin & History of “grind”

Grind is part of the ancient Indo-European word-stock. Relatives such as Latin frendere ‘crush’ and Lithuanian grendu ‘rub’ point back to an Indo-European *ghrendh-. this perhaps denoted ‘crushing’ rather than what we would today call ‘grinding’; for in earliest times grain was crushed rather than ground to produce meal. The connotations of the word seem to have changed in step with advances in grain-pulverizing technology. (The same is true, incidentally, in the case of Indo-European *mel-, which produced the majority of modern European words for ‘grind’, from German mahlen and Spanish moler to Russian molot’, and also gave English meal, mill, molar, etc.)

Grist (OE) was formed from the same base as produced grind, and until the 15th century meant simply ‘grinding’.