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grotesque

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

1555–65; < French < Italian grottesco (as noun, grottesca grotesque decoration such as was apparently found in excavated dwellings), derivative of grotta. See grotto, -esque
Related formsgro·tesque·ly, adverbgro·tesque·ness, nounun·gro·tesque, adjective

Synonyms for grotesque

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for grotesquely

grotesquely, heinously, hideously, badly, brutally, cruelly

Examples from the Web for grotesquely

Contemporary Examples of grotesquely

Historical Examples of grotesquely


British Dictionary definitions for grotesquely

grotesque

adjective
  1. strangely or fantastically distorted; bizarrea grotesque reflection in the mirror
  2. of or characteristic of the grotesque in art
  3. absurdly incongruous; in a ludicrous contexta grotesque turn of phrase
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noun
  1. a 16th-century decorative style in which parts of human, animal, and plant forms are distorted and mixed
  2. a decorative device, as in painting or sculpture, in this style
  3. printing the family of 19th-century sans serif display types
  4. any grotesque person or thing
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Derived Formsgrotesquely, 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

Word Origin and History for grotesquely

grotesque

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper