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[grim-uh s, gri-meys] /ˈgrɪm əs, grɪˈmeɪs/
a facial expression, often ugly or contorted, that indicates disapproval, pain, etc.
verb (used without object), grimaced, grimacing.
to make grimaces.
Origin of grimace
1645-55; < FrenchFrankish *grima mask (cf. grime, grim) + -azo < Latin -āceus -aceous
Related forms
grimacer, noun
grimacingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for grimace
  • When you burn your finger, the grimace on your face sends a universal message.
  • If you take a close look you will still be able to see the grimace in their faces.
  • When we smile, frown or grimace, thousands of tiny facial muscles are at work.
  • There certainly was somewhat of disdain and mockery in that captivating grimace.
  • Now grimace at the thought of all the embarrassing times you had to ask guests to add their coats to a big pile heaped on the bed.
  • The man's pants are rolled to the knees; his expression is part grimace, part grin.
  • Just try not to show that awful, begrudging grimace while you're doing it.
  • He himself accepts this nonsense with a grimace and a shrug.
  • After rising, she grimaced and rubbed her left wrist.
  • The megawatt smile often was replaced by a half-pout, half-grimace of dismay.
British Dictionary definitions for grimace


an ugly or distorted facial expression, as of wry humour, disgust, etc
(intransitive) to contort the face
Derived Forms
grimacer, noun
grimacingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from French grimace, of Germanic origin; related to Spanish grimazo caricature; see grim
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for grimace

1650s, from French grimace, from Middle French grimache, from Old French grimuce "grotesque face, ugly mug," possibly from Frankish (cf. Old Saxon grima "face mask," Old English grima "mask, helmet"), from same Germanic root as grim (adj.). With pejorative suffix -azo (from Latin -aceus).


1762, from French grimacer, from grimace (see grimace (n.)). Related: Grimaced; grimacing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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