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1. The face or facial expression of a person; countenance.
2. Appearance; aspect: the bleak visage of winter.

[Middle English, from Old French, from vis, from Latin vīsus, appearance, from past participle of vidēre, to see; see weid- in Indo-European roots.]


1. face or countenance
2. appearance; aspect
[C13: from Old French: aspect, from vis face, from Latin vīsus appearance, from vidēre to see]


(ˈvɪz ɪdʒ)

1. the face, usu. with reference to shape, features, expression, etc.; countenance: a sad visage.
2. aspect; appearance: a ghost town's desolate visage.
[1250–1300; < Old French vis face < Latin vīsum sight, derivative of vidēre to see]
vis′aged, adj.
syn: See face.



beetle-browed Having prominent, shaggy eyebrows; scowling, sullen. Although the exact origin of this expression is unknown, it has been suggested that the reference is to the short-tufted antennae, analogous to eyebrows, protruding at right angles from the head of some types of beetles. The phrase appeared in William Langland’s Piers Plowman in 1362.

bug-eyed See SURPRISE.

fish eye A blank or quizzical gaze; a hostile stare. The vacuity of piscine eyes is clearly the source of this phrase. The following illustration is cited in Webster’s Third:

I saw you guys giving me the fish eye … so I ran.

gag-tooth A projecting tooth; a buck-tooth. Gag-toothed dates from the 16th century and is rarely heard today. The current word for such a condition is bucktoothed.

If she be gag-toothed tell her some merry jest to make her laugh. (John Lyly, Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit, 1579)

grin like a Cheshire cat To grin broadly and mysteriously; to be constantly smiling widely for no apparent reason. The phrase usually carries connotations of smugness or vacuousness. The expression, which dates from the late 18th century, gained currency because of the perpetually grinning cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The phrase appeared in response to Alice’s question as to why the Duchess’ cat grinned so broadly and inscrutably:

“It’s a Cheshire cat,” said the Duchess, “and that’s why.”

like an owl in an ivy bush With a vacant, dumb look; with an empty stare, such as some people have when drunk. This expression plays on the fact that the ivy bush is the favorite haunt of the owl, known for its wisdom and solemnity; it is also the favorite plant of Bacchus, the god of wine. Rarely heard today, this expression dates from the early 17th century.

“Pr’y thee, how did the fool look?” “Look! Egad, he look’d for all the world like an owl in an ivy bush.” (Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation, 1738)

poker face An expressionless face; a visage which does not reveal one’s thoughts or emotions; a dead pan. In poker, it is essential that a player not tip his hand by showing emotion in his face, lest the other players bet accordingly and thus limit his winnings or increase his losses. Though still applicable to the card game, poker face is also used figuratively in many varied contexts.

He glanced around the circle and found poker faces, but there was a light in Baldy’s eyes that warmed him. (Clarence Mulford, Rustler’s Valley, 1924)

widow’s peak A V-shaped hairline in the middle of the forehead. It was once customary for a widow to wear a black hat which had a “peak,” a triangular piece of material that extended down on the forehead, as if pointing at the nose. A similar looking hairline came to be known as a “widow’s peak” by association.

She had on her forehead what is sometimes denominated a “widow’s peak”—that is to say, her hair grew down to a point in the middle. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh, A Tale, 1849)

A related expression, widow’s lock, describes a lock or tuft of hair that grows apart from the rest of the hair on the head. The term alludes to an ancient superstitious belief that a woman with such a stray shock of hair would be widowed soon after marriage.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.visage - the human face (`kisser' and `smiler' and `mug' are informal terms for `face' and `phiz' is British)visage - the human face (`kisser' and `smiler' and `mug' are informal terms for `face' and `phiz' is British)
human head - the head of a human being
face, human face - the front of the human head from the forehead to the chin and ear to ear; "he washed his face"; "I wish I had seen the look on his face when he got the news"
pudding face, pudding-face - a large fat human face
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
Britain, Great Britain, U.K., UK, United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom
2.visage - the appearance conveyed by a person's facevisage - the appearance conveyed by a person's face; "a pleasant countenance"; "a stern visage"
appearance, visual aspect - outward or visible aspect of a person or thing
expression, look, face, facial expression, aspect - the feelings expressed on a person's face; "a sad expression"; "a look of triumph"; "an angry face"
poker face - a face without any interpretable expression (as that of a good poker player)


1. The front surface of the head:
countenance, face, feature (often used in plural), muzzle.
Informal: mug.
Slang: kisser, map, pan, puss.
2. A disposition of the facial features that conveys meaning, feeling, or mood:
3. An outward appearance:


[ˈvɪzɪdʒ] N (liter) → semblante m


n (liter)Antlitz nt (liter)
References in classic literature ?
with visage uplifted to the gray sky in an agony of supplication.
The cavalcade had not long passed, before the branches of the bushes that formed the thicket were cautiously moved asunder, and a human visage, as fiercely wild as savage art and unbridled passions could make it, peered out on the retiring footsteps of the travelers.
She, in fact, felt a reverence for the pictured visage, of which only a far-descended and time-stricken virgin could be susceptible; and this forbidding scowl was the innocent result of her near-sightedness, and an effort so to concentrate her powers of vision as to substitute a firm outline of the object instead of a vague one.
There she beheld another countenance, of a man well stricken in years, a pale, thin, scholar-like visage, with eyes dim and bleared by the lamp-light that had served them to pore over many ponderous books.
A terror to the smiling innocence of the villages through which he floats; his swart visage and bold swagger are not unshunned in cities.
and his black visage lighted up with a curious, mischievous gleam.
John Reed was a schoolboy of fourteen years old; four years older than I, for I was but ten: large and stout for his age, with a dingy and unwholesome skin; thick lineaments in a spacious visage, heavy limbs and large extremities.
Seventy times seven times didst thou gapingly contort thy visage - seventy times seven did I take counsel with my soul - Lo, this is human weakness: this also may be absolved
Sessions and Old Bailey had now to summon their favourite, specially, to their longing arms; and shouldering itself towards the visage of the Lord Chief Justice in the Court of King's Bench, the florid countenance of Mr.
It was high testimony to my confidence in the spirit of the pale young gentleman, that I never imagined him accessory to these retaliations; they always came into my mind as the acts of injudicious relatives of his, goaded on by the state of his visage and an indignant sympathy with the family features.
Thus SATAN; and him thus the Anarch old With faultring speech and visage incompos'd Answer'd.
His visage was meagre, his hair lank and thin, and his voice hollow.