Definitions

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

  • n. A sharp contortion of the face expressive of pain, contempt, or disgust.
  • intransitive v. To make a sharp contortion of the face.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A distortion of the countenance, whether habitual, from affectation, or momentary and occasional, to express some feeling, as contempt, disapprobation, complacency, etc.; a smirk; a made-up face.
  • v. To make grimaces; to distort one's face; to make faces.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A distortion of the countenance, whether habitual, from affectation, or momentary and occasional, to express some feeling, as contempt, disapprobation, complacency, etc.; a smirk; a made-up face.
  • intransitive v. To make grimaces; to distort one's face; to make faces.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An involuntary or spontaneous distortion of the countenance, expressive of pain or great discomfort, or of disgust, disdain, or disapproval; a wry face.
  • n. An affected expression of the countenance, intended to indicate interest or cordiality, or petty conceit or arrogance.
  • n. Simulation of interest or sincerity; duplicity; hypocrisy.
  • To make grimaces; distort the countenance.

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

  • n. a contorted facial expression
  • v. contort the face to indicate a certain mental or emotional state

Etymologies

French, from Old French grimache, alteration of grimuche, probably from Frankish *grīma, mask.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1645-55 From French descended from Frankish grima ("mask") + -azo (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • WORDS ACCENTED ON THE LAST SYLLABLE: address _address'_ adept _adept'_ adult _adult'_ ally _ally'_ commandant _commandänt '(ä as in arm) _ contour _contour'_ dessert _dessert'_ dilate _dilate'_ excise _eksiz'_ finance _finance'_ grimace _grimace'_ importune _importune'_ occult _occult'_ pretence _pretence'_ research _research'_ robust _robust'_ romance _romance'_ tirade _tirade'_

    Practical Grammar and Composition

  • He hits Neng as hard as he can, smack, kick, smack, kick, then he jumps on his knees and on to his shoulders, and there isn't a single grimace from the Thai master.

    Dizzee Rascal: Fight to the top

  • But a fleeting grimace is soon replaced with the jovial stoicism that runs through the English like rheumatism.

    Perhaps I shall hire a little boat ......

  • The expression grimace on your face is pretty funny in the photo where you are sitting on the steps with the dog at your feet.

    The Big Event

  • Timothy Goebel's mid-jump grimace is no indication of how he felt about his return to competition.

    USATODAY.com - Goebel glad to be healthy again

  • Handsome production design and pretty faces even after being ‘broken’ by the secret police, some of the drama students remain fresh-faced with a tiny bloody streak and a grimace are the chief assets here, this is pageantry of the Hollywood kind if you go for that sort of thing.

    Row Three » Welcome Year of the Rat - Where Cinema is more than just $100 Million productions

  • A grimace was the closest he could come to changing his facial expression, since his species wasn't exactly geared for smiling, frowning, and other human-like actions.

    Fire on High

  • I tried to smile; but as I am an incompetent actor my grimace was a proclamation of disingenuousness.

    The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne : a Novel

  • Their grimace was a picture when I showed the original.

    Philip Gilbert Hamerton

  • As the Roman catholics represent the inconceivable mysteries of the Christian religion, and render them more present to the mind, by a taper, or habit, or grimace, which is supposed to resemble them; so lawyers and moralists have run into like inventions for the same reason, and have endeavoured by those means to satisfy themselves concerning the transference of property by consent.

    A Treatise of Human Nature

Comments

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  • Eclispe by Stephenie Meyer Page 82
    -"I glanced, wide eyed, from Edwards grimace to Jacobs sneer."

    November 1, 2010

  • Did I just hear Tom Brokaw pronounce "grimaces" with a long a? Wow!

    January 21, 2009