- 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.
- any grotesque object, design, person, or thing.
Origin of grotesque
SynonymsSee more synonyms for grotesque on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for grotesquely
And did you not also, in between shivers, admire how grotesquely pretty the shot was?‘Penny Dreadful’ Is a Shameless Orgy of Blood, Gore, and Scary Fun
May 12, 2014
So, this is clearly freakazoid behavior, and is obviously a grotesquely inappropriate thing for a medical professional to do.Where Does the Tea Party Find These People?
February 25, 2014
In the past, Hamad has suffered some health problems, in part because he has diabetes and used to be grotesquely obese.Qatar’s Succession Drama
June 25, 2013
A small, if nonsensical, price to pay for America to stop being so grotesquely fat.Ding Dong, the Soda Ban Is Dead
March 12, 2013
He was covered with deep bruises and his hands were grotesquely swollen.Despite Pledge, Syrian Rebels Continue to Torture
August 15, 2012
Grotesquely enough, all at once he remembered that he was forty—that very day forty.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
In fact, every one had his own grotesquely painful peculiarity.
Some, like Evan, were grotesquely barrel-chested, with or without the hump.Rebels of the Red Planet
Charles Louis Fontenay
It struck her grotesquely that perhaps Mrs. Herrick's instinct was right, after all.The Coast of Chance
Then he thought, grotesquely enough, that they might be cherubs.Tales of Space and Time
Herbert George Wells
- 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
- a 16th-century decorative style in which parts of human, animal, and plant forms are distorted and mixed
- a decorative device, as in painting or sculpture, in this style
- printing the family of 19th-century sans serif display types
- any grotesque person or thing
Word Origin and History for grotesquely
c.1600s, originally a noun (1560s), from Middle French crotesque (16c., Modern French grotesque), from Italian grottesco, literally "of a cave," from grotta (see grotto). The usual explanation is that the word first was used of paintings found on the walls of basements of Roman ruins (Italian pittura grottesca), which OED finds "intrinsically plausible." Originally "fanciful, fantastic," sense became pejorative after mid-18c. Related: Grotesquely; grotesqueness.