Word of the Day
Monday, October 09, 2000

Definitions for rictus

  1. The gape of the mouth, as of birds.
  2. A gaping grin or grimace.

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Citations for rictus
A rictus of cruel malignity lit up greyly their old bony faces. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
His belly swelled grotesquely, his hands curled, his cheeks puffed out, his mouth contorted in a rictus of pain and astonishment. Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic
Origin of rictus
Rictus is from Latin rictus, "the open mouth," from ringi, "to show the teeth."