noun \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



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In architecture and decorative art, a mural or sculptural decoration combining animal, human, and plant forms. The word derives from the Italian grottesco, in reference to the grottolike underground rooms (grotte) where such ornaments were found during the excavation of Roman buildings c. 1500. The grotesque was revived in the Renaissance, and a fashion for it in 16th-century Italy quickly spread to the rest of Europe; it was used most frequently in fresco decoration (painted, carved, or molded) until the 19th century.


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