noun gro·tesque \grō-ˈtesk\

Definition of GROTESQUE

a :  a style of decorative art characterized by fanciful or fantastic human and animal forms often interwoven with foliage or similar figures that may distort the natural into absurdity, ugliness, or caricature
b :  a piece of work in this style
:  one that is grotesque

Examples of GROTESQUE

  1. <a gallery of grotesques from some sicko horror movie>


Middle French & Old Italian; Middle French, from Old Italian (pittura) grottesca, literally, cave painting, feminine of grottesco of a cave, from grotta
First Known Use: 1561

Rhymes with GROTESQUE



: very strange or ugly in a way that is not normal or natural

: extremely different from what is expected or usual

Full Definition of GROTESQUE

:  of, relating to, or having the characteristics of the grotesque: as
a :  fanciful, bizarre
b :  absurdly incongruous
c :  departing markedly from the natural, the expected, or the typical
gro·tesque·ly adverb
gro·tesque·ness noun

Examples of GROTESQUE

  1. The actors wore dark capes and grotesque masks.
  2. a grotesque distortion of the facts

First Known Use of GROTESQUE


Synonym Discussion of GROTESQUE

fantastic, bizarre, grotesque mean conceived, made, or carried out without adherence to truth or reality. fantastic may connote extravagance in conception or ingenuity of decorative invention <dreamed up fantastic rumors>. bizarre applies to the sensationally strange and implies violence of contrast or incongruity of combination <a bizarre medieval castle in the heart of a modern city>. grotesque may apply to what is conventionally ugly but artistically effective or it may connote ludicrous awkwardness or incongruity often with sinister or tragic overtones <grotesque statues on the cathedral> <though grieving, she made a grotesque attempt at a smile>.
GROTESQUELY Defined for Kids


adjective gro·tesque \grō-ˈtesk\

Definition of GROTESQUE for Kids

:  unnatural in an odd or ugly way


Next Word in the Dictionary: grotesqueriePrevious Word in the Dictionary: grotAll Words Near: grotesque
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