Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 20, 2020 is:
visage VIZ-ij noun
1 : the face, countenance, or appearance of a person or sometimes an animal
“But aside from the visage of Grumpy Cat—who may not have been grumpy at all—feline faces don’t tell us much about how cats feel.”— Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2019
“Looking for his own visage in the glass, he caught his shimmering outline and checked that his tie was right….” — Peter Mountford, The Dismal Science, 2014
Did you know?
The word face may be a pretty generic word, but it has several high-flown synonyms. Physiognomy, for instance, refers to facial features thought to reveal qualities of temperament or character. “I thought I could detect in his physiognomy a mind owning better qualities than his father ever possessed,” Emily Brontë writes in Wuthering Heights. Countenance is often used to refer to the face as an indication of mood or emotion, as Bram Stoker types in Dracula: “Mina struggled hard to keep her brave countenance.” Visage can refer to the face of a person or an animal, and it can also refer to the appearance of nonliving things, as in “the dirty visage of the old abandoned factory.”