from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To reduce to fragments, shreds, or powder by rubbing against an abrasive surface.
  • intransitive verb To cause to make a harsh grinding or rasping sound through friction.
  • intransitive verb To irritate or annoy persistently.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To rub or wear away.
  • intransitive verb To make a harsh rasping sound.
  • intransitive verb To cause irritation or annoyance.
  • noun A harsh rasping sound made by scraping or rubbing.
  • noun A framework of parallel or latticed bars for blocking an opening.
  • noun A framework of metal bars used to hold fuel or food in a stove, furnace, or fireplace.
  • noun A fireplace.
  • noun A perforated iron plate or screen for sieving and grading crushed ore.
  • transitive verb To equip with a grate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To furnish with a grate or grates; fill in with cross-bars: as, to grate a window.
  • To rub together or against strongly so as to produce a harsh scraping sound: as, to grate the teeth.
  • To reduce to small particles by rubbing or rasping with something rough or indented: as, to grate a nutmeg or the peel of a lemon.
  • To affect harshly and painfully, as if by abrasion; fret.
  • To produce a harsh or jarring sound of, as by the friction of rough bodies.
  • To scratch or scrape with; use for attrition or abrasion.
  • To make a harsh or rasping sound by friction or attrition; give out a scraping noise.
  • To produce a harsh impression; cause irritation or chafing.
  • noun A grater.
  • noun A partition made with bars parallel to or crossing one another; a framework of bars in a door, window, hatchway, or other opening.
  • noun A frame of metal bars in which fuel is burned, especially coal.
  • noun The floor of a fire-box or furnace, formed of a series or group of bars; the bottom of a furnace, on which the fuel rests, and through which it is supplied with air.
  • noun In metallurgy: A perforated metal plate used in the stamping of ores, through which the pounded ore passes.
  • noun A screen.
  • noun An ore-roasting furnace with a grate revolving horizontally.
  • Pleasant; agreeable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To rub roughly or harshly, as one body against another, causing a harsh sound; ; to produce (a harsh sound) by rubbing.
  • transitive verb To reduce to small particles by rubbing with anything rough or indented.
  • transitive verb To fret; to irritate; to offend.
  • intransitive verb To make a harsh sound by friction.
  • intransitive verb To produce the effect of rubbing with a hard rough material; to cause wearing, tearing, or bruising. Hence; To produce exasperation, soreness, or grief; to offend by oppression or importunity.
  • noun A structure or frame containing parallel or crosed bars, with interstices; a kind of latticework, such as is used ia the windows of prisons and cloisters.
  • noun A frame or bed, or kind of basket, of iron bars, for holding fuel while burning.
  • noun (Steam, Boiler) the area of the surface of the grate upon which the fuel lies in the furnace.
  • transitive verb To furnish with grates; to protect with a grating or crossbars.
  • adjective obsolete Serving to gratify; agreeable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, cooking To shred things, usually foodstuffs, by rubbing across a grater.
  • verb intransitive To rub against, making a (usually unpleasant) squeaking sound.
  • verb by extension To grate on one’s nerves; to irritate or annoy.
  • noun A horizontal metal grille through which water, ash, or small objects can fall, while larger objects cannot.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb make a grating or grinding sound by rubbing together
  • noun a harsh rasping sound made by scraping something
  • noun a barrier that has parallel or crossed bars blocking a passage but admitting air
  • verb gnaw into; make resentful or angry
  • verb scratch repeatedly
  • noun a frame of iron bars to hold a fire
  • verb reduce to small shreds or pulverize by rubbing against a rough or sharp perforated surface
  • verb furnish with a grate


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English graten, from Old French grater, to scrape, of Germanic origin.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Medieval Latin grāta, alteration of Latin crātis, wickerwork.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French grater ("to scrape") ( > French gratter), from Frankish kratton, Proto-Germanic. Cognate with Old High German krazzon ( > German kratzen ("to scrawl") > Danish kradse ), Icelandic krassa ("to scrawl") and Danish kratte.



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  • as in ingrate

    February 9, 2009