odd or unnatural in shape, appearance, or character; fantastically ugly or absurd; bizarre.
fantastic in the shaping and combination of forms, as in decorative work combining incongruous human and animal figures with scrolls, foliage, etc.
any grotesque object, design, person, or thing.

1555–65; < French < Italian grottesco (as noun, grottesca grotesque decoration such as was apparently found in excavated dwellings), derivative of grotta. See grotto, -esque

grotesquely, adverb
grotesqueness, noun
ungrotesque, adjective

1. distorted, deformed, weird, antic, wild. See fantastic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To grotesque
World English Dictionary
grotesque (ɡrəʊˈtɛsk)
1.  strangely or fantastically distorted; bizarre: a grotesque reflection in the mirror
2.  of or characteristic of the grotesque in art
3.  absurdly incongruous; in a ludicrous context: a grotesque turn of phrase
4.  a 16th-century decorative style in which parts of human, animal, and plant forms are distorted and mixed
5.  a decorative device, as in painting or sculpture, in this style
6.  printing the family of 19th-century sans serif display types
7.  any grotesque person or thing
[C16: from French, from Old Italian (pittura) grottesca cave painting, from grottesco of a cave, from grotta cave; see grotto]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1561, originally a noun, from M.Fr. crotesque, from It. grottesco, lit. "of a cave," from grotta (see grotto). Used first of paintings found on the walls of basements of Roman ruins (It. pittura grottesca). Originally "fanciful, fantastic," sense became pejorative after mid-18c.
Grotty, slang shortening, had a brief vogue 1964 as part of Liverpool argot popularized by The Beatles in "A Hard Day's Night."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
So then you put forward the ugly as a type for imitation, you make the
  grotesque an element of art.
At end of the day, the less grotesque becomes sublime.
She looked like some kind of grotesque praying mantis.
It gets better and less grotesque, trust me.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature