Definition of grotesque in English:

grotesque

Syllabification: gro·tesque
Pronunciation: /grōˈtesk
 
/

adjective

noun

Back to top  
  • 1A very ugly or comically distorted figure, creature, or image: the rods are carved in the form of a series of gargoyle faces and grotesques
    More example sentences
    • The 18th-century singeries go back to Jean Bérain, who first hit on the idea c. 1695 of replacing the classical fauns and statues of Renaissance grotesques by figures of monkeys.
    • The former is seen in the rectilinear and symmetrical designs, including some carvings and moldings that are formed with characteristic regence strapwork, grotesques, and classical motifs from antiquity.
    • The Baroque introduced grotesques along with the heavy ball dangling from the central shaft, anchoring detachable rows of arms that allowed the hanging fixture to mutate vertically.
  • 1.1 (the grotesque) That which is grotesque: images of the macabre and the grotesque
    More example sentences
    • The vogue for the grotesque extended well into the later 17th century, and, to a lesser extent, into the 18th.
  • 1.2A style of decorative painting or sculpture consisting of the interweaving of human and animal forms with flowers and foliage.
    More example sentences
    • His writing - poetry, drama, and opinions - is a curious blend of disciplined classicism and carnival grotesque.
    • The adaptation of this decorative style came to be known as grotesque, based on the word grotto.
  • 2 Printing A family of 19th-century sans serif typefaces.

Derivatives

grotesquely

adverb
More example sentences
  • Their ridiculously tight shorts are grotesquely immodest.
  • Killings were sometimes grotesquely accomplished, with excessive butchery.
  • I now see that this position is not only illogical but is also grotesquely unjust.

grotesqueness

noun
More example sentences
  • Masked, they were dynamic, varied, and hilarious, so that their masks actually seemed to become their faces, despite their grotesqueness; unmasked, they were slow, hesitant, and awkward, as if ashamed of the material.
  • From its opening moments, the film alternates wide-angle panoramas with screen-popping close-ups of the actors, most of whom seem to have been picked for their grotesqueness.
  • Most of the minor characters are cartoonish in their grotesqueness, and they provide an effective foil for the two leads.

Origin

mid 16th century (as noun): from French crotesque (the earliest form in English), from Italian grottesca, from opera or pittura grottesca 'work or painting resembling that found in a grotto'; “grotto” here probably denoted the rooms of ancient buildings in Rome that had been revealed by excavations and contained murals in the grotesque style.

More definitions of grotesque

Definition of grotesque in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space