moan vs. groan - Is there any difference ?

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Senior Member

I'd like to ask you to explain the difference (if there is any) between the words moan(to moan) and groan(to groan).

For example..., tell me please which sentence you think is better and what's the difference in the meaning of the both sentences:

1. He collapsed, groaning with pain.


2. He collapsed, moaning with pain.

  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello Chimal. There's a very slight difference in volume for me: groaning is about ¼ decibel louder than moaning:)


    Senior Member
    Personally, I see no appreciable difference between moan and groan. As Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary put in an example 'She's always moaning and groaning (= complaining a lot) about the weather.' , I thereby assuming they are interchangable, except the latter is a bit familiar to me. Yet native speakers' suggestion are way creditable than mine after all. ---mod edit, deletion of off-topic dictionary recommendations---
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Hmm, I don't think I would use "moan" for the sort of pain which would cause a fellow to collapse. For me it would almost definitely be "groan" in this context. Moaning from pain, to me, is more like when someone is experiencing pain which isn't likely to go away, whereas groaning is more of a grunting noise from a sudden, sharper pain. That is of course just my subjective opinion on the words.
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