The grimace on her face when he asked her to the prom told him her answer was "no" before she said a word. A grimace is a facial expression that usually suggests disgust or pain, but sometimes comic exaggeration.

Picture someone wrinkling his nose, squeezing his eyes shut, and twisting his mouth and you'll have a pretty solid mental image of a grimace. It can be a verb, as in "the class grimaced at the teacher's suggestion of a pop quiz." Or it words as a noun. "The class gave a grimace when the teacher suggested a pop quiz." Its forerunner was the 17th century Spanish grimazo, meaning caricature, and grima, meaning fright.

Definitions of grimace
  1. verb
    contort the face to indicate a certain mental or emotional state
    “He grimaced when he saw the amount of homework he had to do”
    synonyms: make a face, pull a face
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    show 12 types...
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    squinch, squint
    cross one's eyes as if in strabismus
    make a face indicating disgust or dislike
    change one's facial expression by spreading the lips, often to signal pleasure
    frown, glower, lour, lower
    look angry or sullen, wrinkle one's forehead, as if to signal disapproval
    screw up
    twist into a strained configuration
    mop, mow, pout
    make a sad face and thrust out one's lower lip
    produce dimples while smiling
    to draw back the lips and reveal the teeth, in a smile, grimace, or snarl
    smile radiantly; express joy through one's facial expression
    simper, smirk
    smile affectedly or derisively
    smile contemptuously
    frown with displeasure
    type of:
    communicate, intercommunicate
    transmit thoughts or feelings
  2. noun
    a contorted facial expression
    “she made a grimace at the prospect”
    synonyms: face
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    moue, pout, wry face
    a disdainful grimace
    type of:
    facial expression, facial gesture
    a gesture executed with the facial muscles
Word Family

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