vis·​age ˈvi-zij How to pronounce visage (audio)
: the face, countenance, or appearance of a person or sometimes an animal
: 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 See Zaslav’s smooth visage become the face of Hollywood fat-cat indifference to the demands of striking Hollywood writers and actors. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 13 Oct. 2023 And, as other entities in the fashion world have been airbrushed and transformed over the last five decades, its brown-kraft-paper visage has had no significant face-lifts. Hilary Reid, New York Times, 14 Sep. 2023 Screen Protectors Wherever there’s a touchscreen, there’s gonna be a set of keys or other sharp implements waiting to mar its shiny visage. WIRED, 28 Oct. 2023 Myers with his masked visage has become a horror icon, racking up a prodigious body count across 13 feature films. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 12 Oct. 2023 While Ross’ name is used regularly to sell everything from paint brushes to energy drinks and his smiling visage is all over the Internet, his actual works of art rarely surface for sale. Bychris Morris, Fortune, 20 Sep. 2023 Lou Doillon wore a belted, billowing dress and cherry-red jelly sandals on a trip to Rome, while Alexa Chung took Elvis's visage as her date to Ashley Williams's London showing. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 23 Sep. 2023 Some may pursue a greener visage while others ignore code upgrades out of disinterest, disorganization, a lack of resources or to compete for economic growth opportunities by keeping barriers low. The Arizona Republic, 27 July 2023 However, a detailed facial reconstruction by the University of Dundee in Scotland, which captures the historical visage of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the uprising, suggests that the young prince’s legendary good looks may be a historical exaggeration. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'visage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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


Dictionary Entries Near visage

Cite this Entry

“Visage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


vis·​age ˈviz-ij How to pronounce visage (audio)
: the face
also : an expression of the face
: the outward appearance of a person, animal, or thing
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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