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

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 Bradley would enter the room wearing a grimace more often than a grin, sit behind a microphone and begin by explaining how his team could get better. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2022 But show the identical face on a runner crossing the finish line of a race, and the same grimace conveys triumph. Lisa Feldman Barrett, Scientific American, 27 Apr. 2022 Tiger clearly was in pain, a grimace frozen on his face. USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2022 In the fourth, a pair of straight rights to the face made Kozin grimace. New York Times, 6 Feb. 2022 Yes, that concert was 59 years ago now — a figure Wolfe relays with a self-deprecating grimace. Hannah Edgar,, 24 Feb. 2022 The carved channels delineate in negative space the pendulous breasts, somnolent grimace and agitated body. Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2022 The appreciative holiday crowd of 3,417 cheered every grunt, every grimace, every snap of the head until Ramirez ended the drama with a barrage of blows early in the 10th to win the WBA light heavyweight title eliminator in impressive fashion. John Whisler, San Antonio Express-News, 19 Dec. 2021 The smile on her face stays intact, but her eyes widen slightly, transforming the grin into a grimace. New York Times, 16 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The thought of Daytona’s orange beaches caused a few to grimace. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, 21 Mar. 2022 While some may grimace, natural gas will remain a prominent part of the American economy not just to generate electricity but also to assist in the manufacturing process. Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 Above her, the rest of the art-world figures—all, as Bloemink shows, caricatural portraits of real people—gesticulate and grimace. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2022 Matthew doesn’t speak but can grimace, shrug, grunt, nod, or frown. Weike Wang, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2022 Lava-red splashes oozed across the screens as Collins dug into his theatrical leanings to sneer and grimace through the lyrics, punctuating them with the song's trademark reptilian cackle. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 20 Nov. 2021 While those from the pro-vaccination camp might grimace in disdain at Minaj, her rationale for refraining from getting vaccinated is shared by many others who also remain unvaccinated. Maia Niguel Hoskin, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 Having something to look forward to is important, so use family meetings to create ideas that will make everyone smile (or at least not grimace). Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2021 DeGrom apeared to grimace after a third-inning pitch to Eric Sogard. Jerry Beach, Star Tribune, 16 June 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near grimace

Grim's ditch



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Statistics for grimace

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grimace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for grimace


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on grimace

Nglish: Translation of grimace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grimace for Arabic Speakers


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