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rictus

[rik-tuh s] /ˈrɪk təs/
noun, plural rictus, rictuses.
1.
the gape of the mouth of a bird.
2.
the gaping or opening of the mouth.
Origin
1750-1760
1750-60; < Latin: wide-open mouth, equivalent to rig-, variant stem of ringī to open the mouth wide + -tus suffix of v. action.
Related forms
rictal, adjective
subrictal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rictus
  • It's a stiff rictus of hatred, and pointy-headed at that.
  • At the meeting the editor tried to be affable and he even gave us his rictus of a smile.
British Dictionary definitions for rictus

rictus

/ˈrɪktəs/
noun (pl) -tus, -tuses
1.
the gap or cleft of an open mouth or beak
2.
a fixed or unnatural grin or grimace, as in horror or death
Derived Forms
rictal, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Latin, from ringī to gape
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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