[grim-uh s, gri-meys]


a facial expression, often ugly or contorted, that indicates disapproval, pain, etc.

verb (used without object), grim·aced, grim·ac·ing.

to make grimaces.

Origin of grimace

1645–55; < FrenchFrankish *grima mask (cf. grime, grim) + -azo < Latin -āceus -aceous
Related formsgrim·ac·er, noungrim·ac·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grimaced

Contemporary Examples of grimaced

Historical Examples of grimaced

  • She courtesied to Philip, grimaced at Pete, and disappeared.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Ramsey grimaced and hit Garr Symm in the belly as hard as he could.

    Equation of Doom

    Gerald Vance

  • He hated me—and it was easy to believe this, though he neither glared nor grimaced.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • She grimaced a little, looking up at me with a mocking laugh.

    Wintry Peacock

    D. H. Lawrence

  • A company that gestured, grimaced with the charm of lustful marionettes.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

British Dictionary definitions for grimaced



an ugly or distorted facial expression, as of wry humour, disgust, etc


(intr) to contort the face
Derived Formsgrimacer, noungrimacingly, adverb

Word Origin for grimace

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

Word Origin and History for grimaced



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