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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.
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.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


the opening of the mouth, especially in a grimace or expression of pain.
See also: Body, Human
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.rictus - a gaping grimace
gape - an expression of openmouthed astonishment
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈrɪktəs] N (rictus or rictuses (pl)) → rictus m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n (Anat, Zool) → Sperrweite 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 periodicals archive ?
Skarsgard's rictus grin still unsettles and there is no denying the queasy relevance of King's narrative, which warns against mob mentality in a society riven by scare-mongering and intolerance.
This new chapter slingshots forward in time to the late 1960s, dovetailing neatly with the prelude to the original Conjuring, which introduced audiences to a wooden moppet with a hand-painted rictus grin.
But I always cringe for the losers, wearing rictus smiles knowing the cameras are on them.
The thought of Renate waving her off on the train, eyes blurred with tears, her rictus smile, was enough to put her off that.
But she said the shows are "misogynist" because "it forces female actors into a predatory role while the male actor's job is to sit in studied rictus, unable to believe such loucheness."
I guarantee you, sit 10 people in a room and show them an episode from the long-awaited return of the daft duo and at least half of them will stare blankly in the cathode ray glow, their faces a rictus contortion of confusion and quiet panic.
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.
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.
Rictus grinning his way through a catastrophic hour, hapless host Matt Johnson presided over the most astonishing shambles ever to disgrace the screen.