vis·​age | \ ˈvi-zij \

Definition of visage 

1 : the face, countenance, or appearance of a person or sometimes an animal
2 : aspect, appearance the grimy visage of a mining town

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Did You Know?

The word face may be a pretty generic word, but it has several high-flown synonyms. "Physiognomy," for instance, refers to facial features thought to reveal qualities of temperament or character ("I thought I could detect in his physiognomy a mind owning better qualities than his father ever possessed. . . ." - Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights). "Countenance" is often used to refer to the face as an indication of mood or emotion ("Mina struggled hard to keep her brave countenance. . . ." - Bram Stoker, Dracula). "Visage" can refer to the face of a person or an animal, and it can also refer to the appearance of nonliving things, as in "the dirty visage of the old abandoned factory."

Examples of visage in a Sentence

an old man with a noticeably happy visage visitors to the mountain range had long noted that the natural rock formation bore a striking resemblance to the visage of a man

Recent Examples on the Web

Still, even that stern visage broke when tributes to Mr. Bush began flowing during a two-hour service that united mourners across generational and ideological lines. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "State Funeral for President George H.W. Bush Suggests It’s Possible to Unite as Well as Divide," 5 Dec. 2018 Halley’s comet had been terrifying humanity for thousands of years with its feathery, glowing visage. Dennis Overbye,, "Bradford Smith, 86, dies; showed postcards from outer space," 13 July 2018 Halley’s comet had been terrifying humanity for thousands of years with its feathery, glowing visage. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Bradford Smith, Who Showed Postcards From Outer Space, Dies at 86," 11 July 2018 Either way, the right pair of glasses—for those of us who aren't 20/20 fortunate—can embellish an already-handsome visage. 13. Tucker Westbrook, Town & Country, "14 Style Lessons I Learned From JFK," 5 July 2018 They're dressed in dark baggy suits and ties with red lapel pins featuring the visages of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, the current leader's father and grandfather. David Nakamura, Washington Post, "In Singapore, a long wait, and then a car carrying a dictator," 10 June 2018 Will Smith may not have been in town to see the unveiling of the new West Philly mural of his visage, but he was touched enough by the project to dedicate an entire video on his popular YouTube account to it. Nick Vadala,, "Will Smith responds to West Philly mural: '[It] just wrecked me.'," 2 July 2018 Liza Koshy was busy mattifying her YouTube famous visage with a powder brush hidden in her red blazer. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Watch Yara Shahidi, Lily Collins, and More Stars Touch Up Their Met Gala After-Party Makeup," 9 May 2018 Romans continued the tradition but added political visages to the mix; citizens wore cameos to express devotion to public figures, like very decorative proto–bumper stickers. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Cameo Jewelry Is Having a Moment," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'visage.' 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 visage

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for visage

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from vis face, from Latin visus sight, from vidēre to see — more at wit

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Statistics for visage

Last Updated

25 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for visage

The first known use of visage was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of visage

: a person's face

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