Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A gaping grimace.
  • noun The expanse of an open mouth or a bird's beak.
  • noun The corner of the mouth or the fleshy area where the upper and lower mandibles of a bird meet.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In ornithology, the gape of the bill; the cleft between the upper and the lower mandible when the mouth is open.
  • noun In botany, the throat, as of a calyx, corolla, etc.; the opening between the lips of a ringent or personate flower.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The gape of the mouth, as of birds; -- often resricted to the corners of the mouth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A bird's gaping mouth
  • noun Any open-mouthed expression

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

  • noun a gaping grimace

Etymologies

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

[Latin, from past participle of ringī, to gape.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin rictus, participle of ringor ("open the mouth wide")

Examples

Comments

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  • *I said smile, not horrible rictus!*

    from the Questionable Content

    September 13, 2008

  • (n): the gape of the mouth, as of birds; often specifically the corners of the mouth.

    January 1, 2009

  • "A rictus of cruel malignity lit up greyly their old bony faces."

    - James Joyce, 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'.

    August 26, 2009