grotesque

[groh-tesk]
adjective
1.
odd or unnatural in shape, appearance, or character; fantastically ugly or absurd; bizarre.
2.
fantastic in the shaping and combination of forms, as in decorative work combining incongruous human and animal figures with scrolls, foliage, etc.
noun
3.
any grotesque object, design, person, or thing.

Origin:
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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
grotesque (ɡrəʊˈtɛsk)
 
adj
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
 
n
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]
 
gro'tesquely
 
adv
 
gro'tesqueness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

grotesque
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
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Example sentences
Complex nations were grotesquely simplified for the voters back home and the
  boys sent to fight abroad.
It's also true that the teaching of languages here is still grotesquely biased
  towards writing, instead of speaking.
Defence spending is grotesquely disproportionate to any other kind of spending
  the government does.
He also stuttered grotesquely, often rendered speechless by the impediment.
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