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 When viewing the mirror pieces, for example, there’s a feeling of togetherness because the viewer’s own visage is incorporated within the piece. Seth Combs Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Meet Amel Janae: Artist considers most of her work as ‘happy accidents’," 28 Feb. 2021 It is decorated with a nose, eyebrows, and a mustache, so that almost a millennium and a half later the glowering visage of its wearer—probably Raedwald, the King of East Anglia—outstares any viewer. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "The Curse of the Buried Treasure," 9 Nov. 2020 His voice is gravelly enough to match his craggy visage. John Semley, The New Republic, "Painting With John Perfects the Art of Instruction," 5 Feb. 2021 In the new series, Kardashian West is seen wearing a strapless dress bearing a giant portrait of her visage on it. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West’s Dress Is an Ode to Herself," 2 Dec. 2020 According to BBC News, John is the first major 15th-century figure to undergo digital facial reconstruction since 2013, when experts revealed the visage of Richard III. Dianne Lugo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Facial Reconstruction Reveals Medieval Monk’s ‘Impish’ Features," 9 Sep. 2020 The power flowing into a new administration was embodied by the exuberant visage of Harris, who often evinces on public occasions a radiant pleasure and, on Wednesday, gave the impression of barely containing her joy. Washington Post, "America yearns for an era of good feeling. The inaugural ceremony launched one.," 20 Jan. 2021 Crowds gathered in parks, in the streets or under the visage of Mr. Lewis that looms over downtown and is visible on the nearby interstate highways. New York Times, "‘Year of the Reveal’: Runoffs Follow Pandemic, Protests and a Test of Atlanta’s Promise," 2 Jan. 2021 In 1962, Snyder touched up Monroe’s visage for her funeral, and served as one of her pallbearers. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "The Makeup Artist at Ground Zero of Internet Beauty Culture," 31 Aug. 2020

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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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

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Visage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of visage

literary : a person's face

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