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[grim-uh s, gri-meys] /ˈgrɪm əs, grɪˈmeɪs/
a facial expression, often ugly or contorted, that indicates disapproval, pain, etc.
verb (used without object), grimaced, grimacing.
to make grimaces.
Origin of grimace
1645-55; < FrenchFrankish *grima mask (cf. grime, grim) + -azo < Latin -āceus -aceous
Related forms
grimacer, noun
grimacingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for grimacing
Historical Examples
  • The result was the same: Camille, grimacing and in pain, appeared ceaselessly.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • Her eyes, in the centre of her flabby and grimacing face, were of celestial beauty.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • Daniel, in the background, was grimacing and shaking his head.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Lieutenant Tibbetts stumbled to his feet glaring and grimacing wildly.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • Why, but what, he reflected, grimacing—what if he had too hastily married somebody else?

  • The doctor stood by the table, drumming with his fingers and grimacing.

    The Squirrel-Cage Dorothy Canfield
  • His light found a squat skeleton sitting there grimacing at him.

    Hunters Out of Space Joseph Everidge Kelleam
  • With a very unattractive exterior, she was for ever mincing and grimacing.

    Smoke Turgenev Ivan Sergeevich
  • Mademoiselle is serious, persisted the young man, bowing and grimacing.

    Bliss, and Other Stories Katherine Mansfield
  • grimacing, Geronimo stole down to where he had left his hunting horse.

    The Story of Geronimo James Arthur Kjelgaard
British Dictionary definitions for grimacing


an ugly or distorted facial expression, as of wry humour, disgust, etc
(intransitive) to contort the face
Derived Forms
grimacer, noun
grimacingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from French grimace, of Germanic origin; related to Spanish grimazo caricature; see grim
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for grimacing



1650s, from French grimace, from Middle French grimache, from Old French grimuce "grotesque face, ugly mug," possibly from Frankish (cf. Old Saxon grima "face mask," Old English grima "mask, helmet"), from same Germanic root as grim (adj.). With pejorative suffix -azo (from Latin -aceus).



1762, from French grimacer, from grimace (see grimace (n.)). Related: Grimaced; grimacing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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