: a little grimace : pout
"I like … the way her eyes twinkle with mischief even as her mouth is set in a sulky fashionista moue." — Judith Woods, The Daily Telegraph (London), 16 Sept. 2016
"But it's [Ian] McKellen we're always watching, with his twitches and moues and wistful … recollections…." — Euan Ferguson, The Observer (London), 1 Nov. 2015
Did You Know?
Moue is one of two similar words in English that refer to a pout or grimace; the other is mow, which is pronounced to rhyme either with no or now. Mow and moue share the same origin—the Anglo-French mouwe—and have a distant relationship to a Middle Dutch word for a protruding lip. (They do not, however, share a relationship to the word mouth, which derives from Old English mūth.) While current evidence of moue in use in English traces back only a little more than 150 years, mow dates all the way back to the 14th century. Moue has also seen occasional use as a verb, as when Nicholson Baker, in a 1988 issue of The New Yorker, described how a woman applying lip gloss would "slide the lip from side to side under it and press her mouth together and then moue it outward…."
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Unscramble the letters to create a word that can refer to the opening of the mouth or to a wide grimace: TISRUC.VIEW THE ANSWER