grok v.

to perceive or understand fully; to feel empathy with; to enjoy, appreciate

[Coined as a term in the ‘Martian’ language by Robert A. Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land (1961).]

SF Encyclopedia

  • 1961 R. A. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land 18 Robert A. Heinlein

    Smith had been aware of the doctors but had grokked that their intentions were benign.

  • 1961 R. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land xxiv. 250 Robert A. Heinlein

    Now that he knew himself to be self he was free to grok ever closer to his brothers.

  • 1968 S. E. Whitfield in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ ii. v. 223 bibliography

    Yet the public reaction to Star Trek’s green-blooded Vulcan has been astounding. ‘I Grok Spock’ buttons are in evidence everywhere.

  • 1995 D. Brin Brightness Reef (1996) 68 David Brin

    Noors can’t speak Galactic Two or any other language anyone’s ever grokked, but they can memorize and repeat any short mirror-flash they happen to pick up with their sharp eyes.

  • 1998 G. Cox Assignment: Eternity xiii. 178 Greg Cox bibliography

    Okay…Let’s grok.

  • 1998 D. Brin Heaven's Reach 410 David Brin

    Can you sniff/sense/feel/grok the very thing you covet…and secretly fear?

  • 1999 Interzone Mar. 62/1

    What merit Dozois perceives in this utter turkey was beyond me when he included it in one of his Best-of-the-Year anthologies and is even harder to grok on rereading.

  • 2003 J. Lethem Fortress of Solitude i. xviii. 277 Jonathan Lethem

    Disgusting to realize he was flirting with Arthur’s mom, to realize, not that he grokked girls, he’d always been flirting with Arthur’s mom.

  • 2007 Wired Nov. 112/1

    Her whimsical, easy-to-grok icons tempted even non-techies to pick up a mouse.


Earliest cite

coined by Heinlein in <i>Stranger in a Strange Land</i>

Last modified 2021-01-21 04:40:56
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.