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

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

On Wednesday, Teigen posted a hilarious shot of her eldest child recreating her famous awkward grimace from the Globes, and the impression is completely spot-on. Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen's Daughter Just Recreated One of Her Funniest Memes," 8 May 2019 With everything else stripped away, the audience can’t help but witness a grimace and hear the labored breathing as the men try to better themselves and their bodies in a variety of ways. Kimber Myers,, "Six men push their bodies to the limit in lyrical documentary 'A Skin so Soft'," 14 June 2018 In the shadows, a dragon with a polka-dot tail lashes at the rafters, while blue-faced Tibetan demons grimace, their goggle-eyes yellowed by smoke. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "On Your Next Trip to Nepal, Rent the House Sir Edmund Hillary Loved," 20 Dec. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While celebrating Mother’s Day, Schumer went on to post a funny image of herself grimacing while hooked up to a drip and sitting in a bathroom. Maria Pasquini,, "Amy Schumer Jokes She’ll Wear ‘Hospital Underwear for Life’ as She Cuddles with 5-Week-Old Son Gene," 8 June 2019 Anthony Swarzak, a right-handed newcomer in the bullpen, grimaced after firing a pitch with two outs in the eighth inning. James Wagner, New York Times, "Mets Beat the Cardinals Again as Jacob DeGrom Settles In," 31 Mar. 2018 The company uses machine learning to parse pictures of people’s smiles, frowns and grimaces for use in different products. Benjamin Powers, WSJ, "Once More With Feeling: Teaching Empathy to Machines," 13 Dec. 2018 On the sideline, Vargas limped to the bench, readjusted his knee brace and grimaced. Ben Baskin,, "No Helmets, No Pads, Full-Contact Tackle Football: Meet the Men of the A7FL," 4 Apr. 2018 Attendees grimaced at their phones, checking election returns. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "Michael Grimm Falls Back to Earth. In a Ballroom on Staten Island.," 27 June 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 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

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

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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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



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

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

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