gri·​mace | \ ˈgri-məs How to pronounce grimace (audio) , 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

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of grimace in a Sentence

Noun 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 Comedy turns to tragedy and smiles twist into grimaces as the real world splatters across the manicured lawn. New York Times, "‘Parasite’ Review: The Lower Depths Rise With a Vengeance," 10 Oct. 2019 Occasionally her mouth pursed into a slight grimace, but the clearest sign of pain was her obvious determination to hide it. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "The Virtuosity of Elena Delle Donne and the Drama of the W.N.B.A. Finals," 8 Oct. 2019 Millman's grimace and a shake of the head as the pair walked to embrace each other told the whole story. Matias Grez, CNN, "Roger Federer survives huge scare against John Millman in Australian Open epic," 24 Jan. 2020 Those who smartly roll their eyes or grimace can be handed some of your non-candy corn candy. Rex Huppke,, "Column: Tips for a parents’ perfect Halloween: Eat your children’s candy, drink each time you hear ‘trick or treat!’," 30 Oct. 2019 Since a 2010 study on the grimace-like faces mice make when in pain, researchers have grown increasingly interested in understanding animal expressions, Mason said. Karin Brulliard,, "Cats do have facial expressions, but you probably can’t read them," 4 Dec. 2019 Many in the room nodded, their smiles turning to grimaces. Jennifer Medina, New York Times, "What Does Oakland Think of Kamala Harris Now?," 22 Nov. 2019 In the 1911 photo, Kriss wears a dirty smock and a weary grimace. Christina Tkacik,, "Her Baltimore-born grandmother was photographed by Lewis Hine. She had no idea, until a blogger found her.," 7 Nov. 2019 Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar grimaces during a press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in Stockholm, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. San Diego Union-Tribune, "EU sees hope in Brexit talks; Irish leader sees wide gaps," 9 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That enables him to boast about the coming acquittal while its principal author, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has to sit there grimacing. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Weekly Trump Report Card: Democrats crushed on impeachment, solid 'A'," 1 Feb. 2020 Trask grimaced in pain and put his hands over his face while being examined on the field by athletic trainers. Edgar Thompson,, "UF QB Kyle Trask ‘good to go’ for No. 7 Gators’ visit to No. 5 LSU," 5 Oct. 2019 In a moment captured by Dallas Times Herald photographer Robert H. Jackson, Ruby’s hand is extended, holding the gun, as Oswald grimaces in pain. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "James Leavelle, Dallas detective handcuffed to history, dies at 99," 30 Aug. 2019 Slot machines spun and rang, blackjack players high-fived and grimaced. Michael Mayo,, "Review: A fresh look at ‘old’ Hard Rock restaurants Kuro, the Bol and a gilded burger at Hard Rock Cafe," 24 Oct. 2019 Gargoyles – those grimacing, gaping, grinning, mischievous creatures perched close to Heaven – invite us, dare us, to raise our gaze. CBS News, "Gargoyles and grotesques get their closeup," 27 Oct. 2019 Almost as soon as Nelson made contact with the knee, Brissett collapsed to the ground in a heap, grimacing in pain. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Jacoby Brissett suffers knee injury, status unknown for next week vs. Miami," 3 Nov. 2019 Davison crashed to the floor after scoring on a drive and immediately grimaced and grabbed his left hand with 17:32 remaining. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Do Moore, Be Moore, 4 Moore: UW players remind their fans they're thinking of assistant coach," 1 Nov. 2019 As the photographer’s shutter whirred, JuJu invested fully, grimacing and twisting his controller to avoid an imaginary digital death, the plug of the device flopping on the floor. Michael Mcknight,, "Much Ado About JuJu," 4 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for grimace

Time Traveler

The first known use of grimace was in 1651

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Statistics for grimace

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grimace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for grimace


How to pronounce grimace (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grimace

: a facial expression in which your mouth and face are twisted in a way that shows disgust, disapproval, or pain


gri·​mace | \ ˈgri-məs How to pronounce grimace (audio) , 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grimace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grimace

Spanish Central: Translation of grimace

Nglish: Translation of grimace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grimace for Arabic Speakers

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