• WordNet 3.6
    • v grimace contort the face to indicate a certain mental or emotional state "He grimaced when he saw the amount of homework he had to do"
    • n grimace a contorted facial expression "she made a grimace at the prospect"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Grimace grĭm"ĭs or grĭ*mās" A distortion of the countenance, whether habitual, from affectation, or momentary and occasional, to express some feeling, as contempt, disapprobation, complacency, etc.; a smirk; a made-up face.☞ “Half the French words used affectedly by Melantha in Dryden's “Marriage a-la-Mode,” as innovations in our language, are now in common use: chagrin double-entendre éclaircissement embarras équivoque foible grimace naïvete ridicule. All these words, which she learns by heart to use occasionally, are now in common use.” "Moving his face into such a hideous grimace, that every feature of it appeared under a different distortion."
    • v. i Grimace To make grimaces; to distort one's face; to make faces.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n grimace An involuntary or spontaneous distortion of the countenance, expressive of pain or great discomfort, or of disgust, disdain, or disapproval; a wry face.
    • n grimace An affected expression of the countenance, intended to indicate interest or cordiality, or petty conceit or arrogance.
    • n grimace Simulation of interest or sincerity; duplicity; hypocrisy.
    • grimace To make grimaces; distort the countenance.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Grimace gri-mās′ a distortion of the face, in jest, &c.: a smirk
    • v.i Grimace to make grimaces
    • ***


  • Thomas Hobbes
    “Sudden glory is the passion which makes those grimaces called laughter.”
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    “One may sometimes tell a lie, but the grimace that accompanies it tells the truth.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., prob. of Teutonic origin; cf. AS. grīma, mask, specter, Icel. grīma, mask, hood, perh. akin to E. grin,


In literature:

When the bootmaker had gone, carrying the boots under his arm, the soldier, left to himself, made a grimace at the closed door.
"Barlasch of the Guard" by H. S. Merriman
I made the most idiotic grimaces behind the lady's back, and coughed frantically as I passed her by.
"Hunger" by Knut Hamsun
Glory noticed that two of these women, who were grimacing and lisping, had spoken to a man who was also lounging about.
"The Christian A Story" by Hall Caine
Then the face of the prisoner, stamped with the horrible grimace of fear, grew in the shadows before his eyes.
"The King in Yellow" by Robert W. Chambers
Still making grimaces, she sipped the lemonade.
"The Woman With The Fan" by Robert Hichens
He seemed to be making comparisons in his mind as his lips formed a grimace.
"L'Assommoir" by Emile Zola
But the Gaul had no sooner swung his weight against the wheel than his grimace vanished.
"The Cruise of the Dry Dock" by T. S. Stribling
Only his lips moved slightly, as if he were making a grimace.
"It Happened in Egypt" by C. N. Williamson
Scale for Human Proportions, &c. Fragments of the Preface of Essay on Aesthetics, &c. Grimacing and distorted faces.
"Albert Durer" by T. Sturge Moore
The Baroness made a little grimace.
"The Avenger" by E. Phillips Oppenheim

In poetry:

Babies must not eat the coal
And they must not make grimaces,
Nor in party dresses roll
And must never black their faces.
"A Few Rules for Beginners" by Katherine Mansfield
Hope mocked me from the pallid sky.
And whither I should flee, or whence
Had fled, I knew not. Like one grin
The grey, grimacing tide swept in;
"Nightmare" by E J Rupert Atkinson
A wit without sense, without fancy a beau,
Like a parrot he chatters, and struts like a crow;
A peacock in pride, in grimace a baboon,
In courage a hind, in conceit a Gascon.
""From the man whom I love, though my heart I disguise,"" by Tobias Smollett
A large crown of thorns on his head, next, was plac'd,
And he with a robe of fine scarlet was grac'd,
On the knee, with mock homage, he then was ador'd;
With blows and grimace they insulted the Lord.
"A Rehearsal Of Christ's Love Towards The World" by Rees Prichard
Some look'd at his hoofs, and with learned grimaces,
Pronounc'd that too long without shoes he had gone —
"Let the blacksmith provide him a sound metal basis
(The wise-acres said), and he's sure to jog on."
"The Donkey and His Panniers" by Thomas Moore
Methinks I see you, newly risen
From your embroider'd Bed and pissing,
With studied mien and much grimace,
Present yourself before your glass,
To vanish and smooth o'er those graces,
You rubb'd off in your Night Embraces.
"Portsmouth's Looking Glass" by Lord John Wilmot

In news:

He will be seen grimacing as Desperate Dan squeezes his fingers in a firm handshake, after which McCartney leads 50 of the comic 's most famous characters in a sing-a-long of the Beatles hit "Hey Jude".
Tulane quarterback Devin Powell (1) grimaces as he comes to the sideline more.
In this July 6, 2010, file photo, Lance Armstrong grimacing prior to the start of the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Wanze, Belgium.
Life's pleasures or annoyances: Reasons to grimace or grin .
"Yeah," grimaced Victoria's grandmother Marci.
Brian Hendershot grimaces as he competes in the jalapeno eating contest at the Nomar International Fiesta to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Saturday.
Carmelo Anthony grimaces after taking a shot to the groin vs Argentina.
Lisa Gilliam (right) grimaces while attorneys outline the events leading to the shooting death of her husband, London attorney Larry Gilliam, in January 2011.
Nene finished tying his shoes, stood up, grimaced, then shook both legs and twisted his ankles.
Nene finished tying his shoes, stood up, grimaced, then shook both legs and twisted his ankles.
But the most pronounced pain — embarrassment and anger that he grimaces at seven months later — came internally.
When I brought him to his first Polish Christmas Eve supper, he looked at our food and grimaced: "Everything is brown.".
Jessica Lynch was just 19 when the world first saw her — a broken, blond soldier caught on combat video in Iraq, her face wearing something between a grimace and a grin.
POUT, the noun, is not just a grimace.
Those who have never eaten pout might settle for the grimace.

In science:

The humorous effect is caused not only by ”wit” discussed above, but also by the ”comic” (exaggerated movements of a clown, grimaces, caricatures, parodies and so on).
Computer Model of a "Sense of Humour". I. General Algorithm