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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Cite this Entry

“Grotesque.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on grotesque

What made you want to look up grotesque? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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