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gri·​mace ˈgri-məs How to pronounce grimace (audio) gri-ˈmās How to pronounce grimace (audio)
: a facial expression usually of disgust, disapproval, or pain
a grimace of hate and rage
grimacer noun


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grimaced; grimacing

intransitive verb

: to distort one's face in an expression usually of pain, disgust, or disapproval
Grimacing slightly, he runs his finger over the back of his heel, where a deep … fissure has opened inside a callus.Chris Ballard
My father shifted his weight and grimaced. The sheet slid off his injured leg, the calf swollen, purple as a plum …Bernard Cooper

Examples of grimace in a Sentence

Noun The patient made a painful grimace as the doctor examined his wound. he made a grimace when he tasted the medicine
Recent Examples on the Web
His signature moves — blunt satire, facial grimaces, incisive use of video and some occasional lectures — were all intact. David Bauder, Twin Cities, 13 Feb. 2024 The series gets darker and more grotesque as the season progresses, and our uncomfortable laughter eventually fades into a grimace of repugnance. Kristen Baldwin,, 10 July 2023 Every step of Ryan Tannehill’s journey from the shower to his locker came with a grimace. Adam H. Beasley, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 On the left, a grumpy geezer grimaces from his rocker. Vulture, 30 Nov. 2023 Jeff first appeared in online stories and artwork more than 10 years ago and is sometimes depicted as an eyelid-less maniac, badly wounded after standing up to a group of bullies, with a permanent grimace on his pale face. Adam Carlson, ABC News, 3 Dec. 2023 The statue's giant square head and grimace does indeed seem primed for war — not a friendly game of tennis — as the racket would suggest. Alex Heigl, Peoplemag, 17 Oct. 2023 White bowed his head as the sound of the officers’ gunfire filled the courtroom, his face scrunched in a grimace. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2023 Jones was recalling this unconsummated Hollywood courtship with a smile, not a grimace. Chris Willman, Variety, 13 Aug. 2023
Fallon, who was grimacing even before tasting the drink, suddenly changed his tune., 19 Oct. 2023 Video clips aired on YTN television and social media showed the attack in which a man was seen lunging at Lee with his arm stretched out, followed by Lee grimacing and collapsing to the ground. Landon Mion, Fox News, 2 Jan. 2024 Williams watches behind-the-scenes footage and video blogs from his decades-long career, often grimacing as he’s confronted with moments he’s long sought to forget. TIME, 8 Nov. 2023 As a collection of soothing old-school soul played in the background, Sanders suddenly grimaced. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, 29 Aug. 2023 Rodgers got up, before falling back to the turf, grimacing in pain. Philip Anloague, Fortune, 24 Sep. 2023 Outside the space’s glass doors there is a giant photo of Cuban, who owns the Mavericks, grimacing in a suit. Lauren Larson, Men's Health, 7 Sep. 2023 To my left, a gray-haired woman in her early ‘70s wilts, balled and grimacing in her Burgundy puffer coat. Jeff Weiss, Spin, 21 Aug. 2023 At times, Snyder and other dancers had to stop in the middle of a sequence, grimacing and shaking their heads. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History



French, from Middle French, alteration of grimache, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English grīma mask

First Known Use


1651, in the meaning defined above


1762, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of grimace was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near grimace

Cite this Entry

“Grimace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: facial expression usually of disgust, disapproval, or pain
grimace verb

More from Merriam-Webster on grimace

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