Wednesday, August 26, 2009

rictus: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.comDictionary.com Word of the Day

Follow Dictionary.com on Twitter.
Word of the day, word trivia, unusual words, and more!

Word of the Day for Wednesday, August 26, 2009

rictus \RIK-tuhs\, noun:

1. The gape of the mouth, as of birds.
2. A gaping grin or grimace.

A rictus of cruel malignity lit up greyly their old bony faces.
-- James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
His belly swelled grotesquely, his hands curled, his cheeks puffed out, his mouth contorted in a rictus of pain and astonishment.
-- Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic
Then, as the sympathy and praise engulfed him, Hector would invariably roll over onto his back, legs in the air, his mouth twisted into an otherworldly rictus.
-- Bruce McCall, "Writers Who Were Really Dogs", New York Times, June 5, 1994

Rictus is from Latin rictus, "the open mouth," from ringi, "to show the teeth."

Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for rictus


Follow Dictionary.com on Twitter.
Word of the day, word trivia, unusual words, and more!


Dictionary.com Word of the Day
http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/
You are currently subscribed to
Dictionary.com Word of the Day
as: mayorjfvalley@gmail.com
To unsubscribe:
http://lists.lexico.com/u?id=6044678G&n=T&l=wordoftheday&o=14304485
To subscribe to Word of the Day by email,
please send a blank message to:
join-wordoftheday@lists.lexico.com
©2009 by Dictionary.com, LLC.
555 12th Street
Suite 500
Oakland CA 94607
Subscriptions to The Word of the Day
can be turned on and off via the Web at
http://www.dictionary.com/help/faq/wordoftheday/
  Tell a friend about The Word of the Day!

No comments: