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Definition: mental unease, annoyance or embarrassment caused by failure, disappointment or a disconcerting event.

Pronunciation: cha-GRIN


Dating back to the 1650’s, chagrin comes from the French chagrin meaning melancholy or anxiety. The Old North French verb chagrenier means to sadden and is probably related to the Germanic graignier meaning to grieve over or be angry.

Why this word?

This is a very specific feeling’s representation; while sorrow is simply sorrow, and pain is just pain, chagrin is the feeling following disappointment or failure (in turn another word for disappointment). While the noun came about in the 1650’s, the earlier 1600’s chagrin was a verb, meaning the action of letting one down, causing chagrin.

I am puzzled by this word as ‘grin’ is, well, a grin; and ‘cha’… What is ‘cha’ and how does it turn a grin into chagrin? Let me know if you come up with anything.   

How to use the word chagrin in a sentence?

Verbal use: “His behavior chagrined me and made me question his true intentions”

Noun use: “This constant state of chagrin you’re in is hurting no one but you; you need to gather yourself and find the better side of the situation”.


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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