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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Jimmie's only reply was a wrinkling of his freckled nose in a grimace of extreme disgust and contempt.

    Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal G. Harvey Ralphson
  • He repeated the words with a grimace of exasperation: "My name!"

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • I watched his face; the muscles of it contracted into a grimace, then were smoothed again to calmness; he opened his eyes.

    Simon Dale Anthony Hope
  • Tubby made a grimace, and then seemed to be ashamed of his selfishness.

  • Coracle laughs too, but with the grimace of wolf baying the moon.

    Gwen Wynn Mayne Reid
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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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