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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.
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 grimaces
  • Unusual grimaces are normally the first sign that something is wrong.
  • Only in times of stress, do some of the tics return, particularly the facial grimaces.
  • He grimaces and strains, the effort written across the lines of his face.
  • The phone grits its teeth and grimaces, producing high levels of radiation.
  • And his stage routine is so dependent on grimaces and gestures that his concert albums don't capture its full vitality.
  • He grimaces through hs new job, which mainly consists of taking care of the church's apple tree.
  • He resigns himself to illogic with some drolly twisted grimaces and words.
  • It is, largely, a composite of grimaces and angry looks.
  • The collar is finally adjusted following a series of grimaces and the gritting of teeth.
  • Bathroom jokes are in abundance, along with mugging and grimaces.
British Dictionary definitions for grimaces


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 grimaces



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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