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Definition of "grotesque" []

  • Characterized by ludicrous or incongruous distortion, as of appearance or manner. (adjective)
  • Outlandish or bizarre, as in character or appearance. See Synonyms at fantastic. (adjective)
  • Of, relating to, or being the grotesque style in art or a work executed in this style. (adjective)
  • One that is grotesque. (noun)
  • A style of painting, sculpture, and ornamentation in which natural forms and monstrous figures are intertwined in bizarre or fanciful combinations. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "grotesque" in a sentence
  • "In one marvellous passage he defines the word "grotesque" from the word grotto, a small cave and goes on to sing the praises of the "modern master printers who think like the scribes of our old Icelandic languages" and decorate their texts with impossible creatures –"a centaur here, an old woman with birds' feet there, a three-headed dog"."
  • "The Landless People's Movement (LPM) lamented on Thursday what it described as a grotesque distortion of its programmes by the media, and denied it had any violent or lawless intentions."
  • "The Middle Ages, more than any other period, are rich in instances of that intimate blending of the comic and the horrible which we call the grotesque; the witches 'Sabbath, the hoofed and horned devil, the hideous figures of Dante's hell; the"