American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The expanse of an open mouth, a bird's beak, or similar structure.
- n. A gaping grimace: "his mouth gaping in a kind of rictus of startled alarm” ( Richard Adams).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In ornithology, the gape of the bill; the cleft between the upper and the lower mandible when the mouth is open.
- n. In botany, the throat, as of a calyx, corolla, etc.; the opening between the lips of a ringent or personate flower.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The gape of the mouth, as of birds; -- often resricted to the corners of the mouth.
- n. a gaping grimace
- From Latin rictus, participle of ringor ("open the mouth wide") (Wiktionary)
- Latin, from past participle of ringī, to gape. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It was best described as a rictus – a mug somewhere between a frozen formal grin and someone trying to hold back on saying, “oh shit oh dear …”.”
“I have not yet seen the photographs but I see the word 'rictus' coming to my mind.”
“The parents went on and on about how Daniel is usually so shy, but he really loved me, and my peaceful meal turned into me trying to appease some young chitterling at the next table with some kind of rictus plastered across my weary face.”
“Her face hardened, and her mouth pulled into a gaping rictus.”
“Her mouth curled into a rictus of a grin, her front teeth broken and ragged.”
“His scaled lips pulled back in a mocking rictus of a grin.”
“They stare silently back at me, their faces frozen in a permanent rictus of hate.”
“I appear tortured and gripped with terror, my features drawn in a rictus of anxiety.”
“Her eyes were clenched shut, a rictus of pain marring her features.”
“Majeed's own face was a rictus of anguish as his counsel, seeking to mitigate the prison sentence he will surely receive for his part in a conspiracy to subvert cricket, held up Butt as the criminal mastermind.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘rictus’.
"Luciferous Logolepsy is a collection of over 9,000 obscure English words. Though the definition of an 'English' word might seem to be straightforward, it is not. There exist so many adopted, deriv...
No definite conception of these words.
Words that, for various reasons, I wish we could do without.
My Favorite Words
Words taken from Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
Some days, there will be a word. That word is the word of the day. Other days shall remain wordless. That's just the way things go.
Words gathered while reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.
Nowhere else to put these yet.
Looking for tweets for rictus.