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

[From French, a fanciful style of decorative art, from Italian grottesca, from feminine of grottesco, of a grotto, from grotta, grotto; see grotto.]

gro·tesque′ly adv.
gro·tesque′ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.grotesqueness - ludicrous or incongruous unnaturalness or distortion
ugliness - qualities of appearance that do not give pleasure to the senses
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


(= outlandishness: of idea, proposal, allegation) → Absurdität f; the grotesqueness of the shape/this answer/his appearancedas Groteske an der Form/dieser Antwort/seiner Erscheinung
(= distortion)Verzerrtheit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
Some were amusing, some almost beautiful, and one, a woman all drawn out of shape, hurt the old man by her grotesqueness. When she passed he made a noise like a small dog whimpering.
The unexpectedness of his presence, the grotesqueness of his appearance in a gathered smockfrock, such as was now worn only by the most old-fashioned of the labourers, had a ghastly comicality that chilled her as to its bearing.
To these I gave in helplessly; their very grotesqueness was proof of their divine origin, and I bowed to the crudest manifestations of his genius in these kinds as if they were revelations not to be doubted without sacrilege.
And little my mother dreamed--she was a grand lady, what you call a cattle-queen--little she dreamed my fine education was to fit me in the end for a night watchman's wife." She laughed genuinely at the grotesqueness of the idea.
Over most of the beds, the toys were yet grouped as the children had left them when they last laid themselves down, and, in their innocent grotesqueness and incongruity, they might have stood for the children's dreams.
The waving of crooked, false-jewelled fingers gave grotesqueness to the words.
A strange persuasion came upon me, that, save for the grossness of the line, the grotesqueness of the forms, I had here before me the whole balance of human life in miniature, the whole interplay of instinct, reason, and fate in its simplest form.
On high, amid all this grotesqueness, sits the departed doge.
Their features were scarce discernible, but there was a suggestion of grotesqueness about them that carried to her a feeling of revulsion.
Like 'Sartor Resartus' it has much subjective coloring, which here results in exaggeration of characters and situations, and much fantasy and grotesqueness of expression; but as a dramatic and pictorial vilification of a great historic movement it was and remains unique, and on the whole no history is more brilliantly enlightening and profoundly instructive.
The father buried his face in his hands, and the son stood in his disgraceful grotesqueness, biting straw: his hands, with the black partly worn away inside, looking like the hands of a monkey.
Its whole visible exterior was ornamented with quaint figures, conceived in the grotesqueness of a Gothic fancy, and drawn or stamped in the glittering plaster, composed of lime, pebbles, and bits of glass, with which the woodwork of the walls was overspread.