Definition of grotesque adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɡrəʊˈtesk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡroʊˈtesk//
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  1. 1strange in a way that is unpleasant or offensive a grotesque distortion of the truth The story was too grotesque to believe. It's grotesque to expect a person of her experience to work for so little money.
  2. 2extremely ugly in a strange way that is often frightening or amusing a grotesque figure tribal dancers wearing grotesque masks See related entries: Attractiveness
  3. Word Originmid 16th cent. (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 which had been revealed by excavations, and which contained murals in the grotesque style.Extra examples The whole situation was really grotesque. It was a grotesque figure with a snarling beast’s head. She was frightened by the grotesque appearance of the mime artists.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: grotesque

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