gri·​mace | \ˈgri-məs, gri-ˈmās\

Definition of grimace 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a facial expression usually of disgust, disapproval, or pain a grimace of hate and rage


grimaced; grimacing

Definition of grimace (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to distort one's face in an expression usually of pain, disgust, or disapproval Grimacing slightly, he runs his finger over the back of his heel, where a deep … fissure has opened inside a callus.— Chris Ballard My father shifted his weight and grimaced. The sheet slid off his injured leg, the calf swollen, purple as a plum …— Bernard Cooper

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Other Words from grimace


grimacer noun

Synonyms for grimace

Synonyms: Noun

face, frown, lower (also lour), moue, mouth, mow, mug, pout, scowl, snoot

Synonyms: Verb

mouth, mug

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Examples of grimace in a Sentence


The patient made a painful grimace as the doctor examined his wound. he made a grimace when he tasted the medicine

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trump's tirade went on so long that many present began fidgeting in their seats and flashing grimaces, White House aides said. Josh Dawsey And Nick Miroff,, "Trump unloads on Department of Homeland Security chief over immigration," 11 May 2018 Top, Wadieh Ras grimaces in pain after getting shot by Israeli forces during a protest east of Gaza City. Hanah Salah,, "Israel shoots to wound, not kill. That has led to a wave of amputations in Gaza," 8 June 2018 Babies are assessed under five factors: appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Google Doodle Honors Dr. Virginia Apgar, the Anesthesiologist Credited With Saving Many Newborn Babies' Lives," 7 June 2018 One of the central characters, a boss named Oh Sang-sik, was always drawn the same way: stressed out grimace and bloodshot eyes. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, "South Korea’s president wants people to work less — and have more children," 28 June 2018 The dark conflicts that drive the score lived in the growls and grimaces of Ma’s cello; so did the scampering flights of macabre humor, everything tightly supported by Muti and the orchestra. John Von Rhein,, "Riccardo Muti and Yo-Yo Ma turn up the heat in an all-Russian program," 15 June 2018 The five factors -- appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration -- have been used countless times to help determine if a baby is healthy and happy. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, "Google Doodle Celebrates 109th Birthday of Legendary Doctor Virginia Apgar," 7 June 2018 Her grin is wide but in flashes looks more like a grimace. Alice Gregory, The New Yorker, "The Fearless Cinema of Claire Denis," 19 May 2018 Behind the scenes, Mexico’s relationship with the United States is more about grimaces, anxiety and signs of severe strain. Joshua Partlow, Washington Post, "In Mexico, frustration with Trump grows as relations reach a ‘defining moment’," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Maggie Reygers, 57, sat down, grimacing in pain from a work injury that had herniated five discs in her spine. Anchorage Daily News, "Unintended consequences: Inside the fallout of America’s crackdown on opioids," 17 June 2018 The company strode, marched and grimaced with conviction. Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle, "Robert Dekkers’ ‘Red Shoes’ not quite the right fit at Diablo Ballet," 5 May 2018 Maggie Reygers, 57, sat down, grimacing in pain from a work injury that had herniated five discs in her spine. Anchorage Daily News, "Unintended consequences: Inside the fallout of America’s crackdown on opioids," 17 June 2018 And of course there will be a scene where Will, grimacing, will pull out a piece of jagged metal that has become embedded in his flesh. Michael O’sullivan, kansascity, "In ‘Skyscraper,’ Dwayne Johnson’s charisma elevates a dumb movie," 12 July 2018 Thompson lay grimacing in pain then went to the locker room with what was called a bruised left leg that needed re-taping. Janie Mccauley,, "Warriors Withstand James' 51 Points To Win NBA Finals Game 1," 1 June 2018 Maggie Reygers, 57, sat down, grimacing in pain from a work injury that had herniated five discs in her spine. Bonnie Jo Mount, Washington Post, "Inside the fallout of America’s crackdown on opioids," 31 May 2018 Dylan Mahon reached for the royal’s facial hair as Harry playfully grimaced and Meghan stifled a laugh. Erin Hill,, "This Toddler Couldn't Stop Touching Meghan Markle's Hair and Prince Harry Wasn't Having It!," 11 July 2018 In several others, his red-lipped, grimacing mouth, or a potent single eyeball or hand, emerge from a storm of sandy-green clouds. New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grimace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of grimace


1651, in the meaning defined above


1762, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grimace


French, from Middle French, alteration of grimache, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English grīma mask

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Statistics for grimace

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Time Traveler for grimace

The first known use of grimace was in 1651

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More Definitions for grimace


gri·​mace | \ˈgri-məs, gri-ˈmās\

Kids Definition of grimace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a twisting of the face (as in disgust or pain)


grimaced; grimacing

Kids Definition of grimace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to twist the face He grimaced in pain.

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More from Merriam-Webster on grimace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grimace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grimace

Spanish Central: Translation of grimace

Nglish: Translation of grimace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grimace for Arabic Speakers

Comments on grimace

What made you want to look up grimace? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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