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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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 writes in Wuthering Heights. Countenance is often used to refer to the face as an indication of mood or emotion, as Bram Stoker types in Dracula: "Mina struggled hard to keep her brave countenance." 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 On Tuesday, April 19, Gaga shared a quick glance at her no-makeup visage with a selfie video posted to her Instagram Stories. Marci Robin, Allure, 20 Apr. 2022 Then, once cooled, a thicker opaque glaze is drizzled over the top and left to set up, giving the buns their iconic visage. Ben Mimscooking Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2022 Unlike the other iconic redhead with a side part and swoosh of curls that frame the side of her dazzling cartoon visage, Thee Stallion gives us a twist with this color. Jennet Jusu, Allure, 10 Mar. 2022 If—as the director Ingmar Bergman once claimed—the most important image in the history of cinema is that of the human face, then the visage of Jane Birkin inspired a new zeitgeist of onscreen beauty. Erik Morse, Vogue, 17 Mar. 2022 A couple of feet in front of Sawyer, Bardic bent over slightly, a sheen of perspiration failing to mask a visage of utter exhaustion. Matt Le Cren,, 7 Mar. 2022 Another theory about his youthful visage: Leto doesn’t emote very much in casual conversation. Lauren Larson, Men's Health, 21 Mar. 2022 In its execution, the dancer uses a variety of subtle, surreptitious techniques to change his visage, undetected by the audience and concealing his true identity. Therese Shaheen, National Review, 27 Feb. 2022 In addition to panda bears, Sichuan’s Min Mountains are also home to the golden snub-nosed monkey, an endangered primate that’s renowned for its unique visage. Jared Ranahan, Forbes, 29 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for visage

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

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Visage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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