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

v contort the face to indicate a certain mental or emotional state

“He grimaced when he saw the amount of homework he had to do”
make a face, pull a face
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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

n a contorted facial expression

“she made a grimace at the prospect”
moue, pout, wry face
a disdainful grimace
Type of:
facial expression, facial gesture
a gesture executed with the facial muscles

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