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n. pl. rictus or ric·tus·es
1. A gaping grimace: "his mouth gaping in a kind of rictus of startled alarm" (Richard Adams).
a. The expanse of an open mouth or a bird's beak.
b. The corner of the mouth or the fleshy area where the upper and lower mandibles of a bird meet.

[Latin, from past participle of ringī, to gape.]

ric′tal adj.


n, pl -tus or -tuses
1. (Biology) the gap or cleft of an open mouth or beak
2. a fixed or unnatural grin or grimace, as in horror or death
[C18: from Latin, from ringī to gape]
ˈrictal adj


(ˈrɪk təs)

n., pl. -tus, -tus•es.
1. the gaping or opening of the mouth.
2. a gaping grin.
3. the gape of the mouth of a bird.
[1750–60; < Latin: wide-open mouth =rig-, variant s. of ringī to open the mouth wide + -tus suffix of v. action]
ric′tal, adj.


the opening of the mouth, especially in a grimace or expression of pain.
See also: Body, Human
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.rictus - a gaping grimace
gape - an expression of openmouthed astonishment


[ˈrɪktəs] N (rictus or rictuses (pl)) → rictus m


n (Anat, Zool) → Sperrweite f
References in periodicals archive ?
A los 40, la falta de energia celular se hace patente en la aparicion de los primeros rictus (arrugas mas profundas en la frente y el surco nasogenial).
Through these rictus smiles they are still demanding, like usurers of old, outrageous sums of money from the UK as the price for leaving - and refuse to be budged.
Su portada no vale nada--salvo el rictus misogino y el machismo subrepticio--si no entrevistan a esa joven.
Behind the mask of comedy, tragedy has a rictus grin.
By the time I pulled into Birch services, we had the rictus grins of extras in a Jean-Claude van Damme ice cold lager advert.
Going round with a rictus grin on your face every day is a short cut to the grave.
Rictus grinning his way through a catastrophic hour, hapless host Matt Johnson presided over the most astonishing shambles ever to disgrace the screen.
I'm sorry you looked before you left: rictus, clenched fists, my bulbous eyes imply an anger I could never feel.
It also stars Nicholas Hoult as Nux, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe and Nathan Jones as Rictus Erectus.
Il ecarte les bras, son corps ne parvient pas a s'allonger, son buste donne l'impression d'etre bloque, sa bouche fait un rictus.
Nous n'oserons pas l'essai du rictus au risque de commisures.