vis·​age | \ ˈvi-zij How to pronounce visage (audio) \

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

There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. WSJ, "In Hoc Anno Domini," 23 Dec. 2018 Alumni in club medallions smoked cigars beneath the taxidermied visages that decked the hall. Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz, Town & Country, "Why I Refused to Join One of Harvard's All-Male Final Clubs," 31 Aug. 2016 Because only farmers had farmer's tans, and outdoor work in general was confined to the lower classes, upper-class women went to great lengths to keep their skin fair: the powdered visage of Marie Antoinette. Alison Rose, Town & Country, "Hot Pursuit," 16 Dec. 2012 And from the array of abstract visages to the raw bursts of color, the vanity-ready capsule pieces are both novel and right at home in the NARS world. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This A$AP Rocky–Approved Artist Brought His Eye to NARS’s Latest Must-Have Makeup Collection," 27 Feb. 2019 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 Soon the call went up to strip Jackson’s visage off the $20 bill. Robert W. Merry, WSJ, "‘The Rise of Andrew Jackson’ Review: A President in His Time," 23 Oct. 2018 And there’s no better face for an increasingly radical and anti-democratic Supreme Court than the ruddy, yelling visage of Brett Kavanaugh. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation will delegitimize the Supreme Court — and that’s good," 5 Oct. 2018 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

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

17 Apr 2019

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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

literary : a person's face

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