Dictionary.com

grotesque

[ groh-tesk ]
/ groʊˈtɛsk /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: grotesque / grotesques / grotesquely / grotesqueness on Thesaurus.com

adjective
odd or unnatural in shape, appearance, or character; fantastically ugly or absurd; bizarre.
fantastic in the shaping and combination of forms, as in decorative work combining incongruous human and animal figures with scrolls, foliage, etc.
noun
any grotesque object, design, person, or thing.

COMPARE COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS

These are smilar words, and share related meanings, but their uses are very different. Click on the buttons to learn more about these commonly confused words.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of grotesque

First recorded in 1555–65; from French, from Italian grottesca (from pittura grottesca, opera grottesca “grotesque painting, decoration” such as was apparently found in excavated buildings), the feminine of grottesco “grotesque, uncouth,” derivative of grotta “cave.” See grotto, -esque

synonym study for grotesque

1. See bizarre.

OTHER WORDS FROM grotesque

gro·tesque·ly, adverbgro·tesque·ness, nounun·gro·tesque, adjective

Words nearby grotesque

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use grotesque in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for grotesque

grotesque
/ (ɡrəʊˈtɛsk) /

adjective
strangely or fantastically distorted; bizarrea grotesque reflection in the mirror
of or characteristic of the grotesque in art
absurdly incongruous; in a ludicrous contexta grotesque turn of phrase
noun

Derived forms of grotesque

grotesquely, adverbgrotesqueness, noun

Word Origin for grotesque

C16: from French, from Old Italian (pittura) grottesca cave painting, from grottesco of a cave, from grotta cave; see grotto
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
FEEDBACK