See more synonyms for grinder on
  1. a person or thing that grinds.
  2. a kitchen device or appliance for grinding food.
  3. a sharpener of tools.
  4. a molar tooth.
  5. Chiefly New England and Inland North. hero sandwich.
  6. grinders, Informal. the teeth.

Origin of grinder

1350–1400; Middle English. See grind, -er1

Regional variation note Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grinder

Contemporary Examples of grinder

Historical Examples of grinder

  • The distant screech of the grinder was muffled and not unpleasant.

    The Worshippers

    Damon Francis Knight

  • The Grinder had left this paper with his mother, and she had written letters to him from it.

    Auld Licht Idylls

    J. M. Barrie

  • The man to judge a forger's work is a grinder, and not another forger.

  • Henry spoke to the grinder, and asked him if there was anything amiss with the stone.

  • The Grinder had not been taken, and a further remand was necessary.

    The Vicar of Bullhampton

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for grinder


  1. a person who grinds, esp one who grinds cutting tools
  2. a machine for grinding
  3. a molar tooth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for grinder

Old English grindere "one who grinds (grain);" agent noun from grind (v.). Meaning "molar tooth" is late 14c. (Old English had grindetoð). Meaning "machine for milling" is from 1660s; of persons, from late 15c. Large sandwich sense is from 1954, though the exact signification is uncertain (perhaps from the amount of chewing required to eat one).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper