Synonyms & Antonyms of grotesque

(Entry 1 of 2)



Synonyms of grotesque (Entry 2 of 2)

a strange or horrible and often frightening creature
  • a gallery of grotesques from some horror movie

Synonyms for grotesque

Words Related to grotesque

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About grotesque

How is the word grotesque different from other adjectives like it?

The words bizarre and fantastic are common synonyms of grotesque. While all three words mean "conceived, made, or carried out without adherence to truth or reality," grotesque may apply to what is conventionally ugly but artistically effective or it may connote ludicrous awkwardness or incongruity often with sinister or tragic overtones.

grotesque statues on the cathedral

though grieving, she made a grotesque attempt at a smile

When could bizarre be used to replace grotesque?

In some situations, the words bizarre and grotesque are roughly equivalent. However, bizarre applies to the sensationally strange and implies violence of contrast or incongruity of combination.

a bizarre medieval castle in the heart of a modern city

When would fantastic be a good substitute for grotesque?

The words fantastic and grotesque are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, fantastic may connote extravagance in conception or ingenuity of decorative invention.

dreamed up fantastic rumors

Learn More About grotesque

Time Traveler for grotesque

Time Traveler

The first known use of grotesque was in 1561

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About grotesque

Thesaurus Entries Near grotesque




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Grotesque.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on grotesque

Nglish: Translation of grotesque for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grotesque for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about grotesque


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!