1. the lower extremity of the face, below the mouth.
  2. the prominence of the lower jaw.
  3. Informal. chin-up.

verb (used with object), chinned, chin·ning.

  1. Gymnastics.
    1. to bring one’s chin up to (a horizontal bar, from which one is hanging by the hands), by bending the elbows.
    2. to raise (oneself) to this position.
  2. to raise or hold to the chin, as a violin.
  3. Archaic. to talk to; chatter with.

verb (used without object), chinned, chin·ning.

  1. Gymnastics. to chin oneself.
  2. Slang. to talk; chatter: We sat up all night chinning about our college days.
  1. keep one’s chin up, to maintain a cheerful disposition in spite of difficulties, disappointments, etc.Also chin up.
  2. take it on the chin, Informal.
    1. to suffer defeat; fail completely.
    2. to endure suffering or punishment.


  1. Also Tsin. any of three dynasties that ruled in China, a.d. 265–316 (the Western Chin), a.d. 317–420 (the Eastern Chin), and a.d. 936–46 (the Later Chin).
  2. a dynasty that ruled in China 1115–1234.

  1. China.
  2. Chinese.


  1. a Chinese zither consisting of an oblong, slightly curved wooden box over which are stretched strings that are stopped with one hand and plucked with the other.


  1. a dynasty in ancient China, 221–206 b.c., marked by the emergence of a unified empire and the construction of much of the Great Wall of China.


  1. the protruding part of the lower jaw
  2. the front part of the face below the lipsRelated adjective: genial
  3. keep one’s chin up to keep cheerful under difficult circumstancesSometimes shortened to: chin up!
  4. take it on the chin informal to face squarely up to a defeat, adversity, etc

verb chins, chinning or chinned

  1. gymnastics to raise one’s chin to (a horizontal bar, etc) when hanging by the arms
  2. (tr) informal to punch or hit (someone) on the chin

abbreviation for

  1. China
  2. Chinese

Old English cin, cinn “chin” (but in some compounds suggesting an older, broader sense of “jawbone”); a general Germanic word (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German kinni; Old Norse kinn; German Kinn “chin;” Gothic kinnus “cheek”), from PIE root *genu- “chin, jawbone” (cf. Sanskrit hanuh, Avestan zanu- “chin;” Armenian cnawt “jawbone, cheek;” Lithuanian žándas “jawbone;” Greek genus “lower jaw,” geneion “chin;” Old Irish gin “mouth,” Welsh gen “jawbone, chin”).


1590s, “to press (affectionately) chin to chin,” from chin (n.). Meaning “to bring to the chin” (of a fiddle) is from 1869. Slang meaning “talk, gossip” is from 1883, American English. Related: Chinned; chinning. Athletic sense of “raise one’s chin over” (a raised bar, for exercise) is from 1880s.


  1. The prominence formed by the anterior projection of the lower jaw.

see keep one’s chin up; lead with one’s chin; take it on the chin.

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