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I am trying to find the word for when you screw up your face in annoyance, frustration/exasperation or worry. The phrase in which I want to use it is as follows:

Ryan ____ his face in frustration. He knew he should have never taken his eyes off of her for even a second and now she was missing.

  • Would you accept an intransitive verb? "Ryan scowled in frustration." – StoneyB Nov 30 '16 at 18:21
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    There is also grimace, although frown may be more appropriate. – Mick Nov 30 '16 at 18:25
  • @Mick I've used grimace in the following sentence, so I can't use it there, and my characters seem to do an awful lot of frowning – Gladiator Kittens Nov 30 '16 at 18:32
  • Too much gurning, then. Get rid of it all. "Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." ~ Anton Chekov. – Mick Nov 30 '16 at 18:40
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I would go with either screwed as in:

Ryan screwed his face in frustration

From the Free Dictionary: To contort (one's face).

or with contorted as in:

Ryan contorted his face in frustration

From Google: to twist or bend out of its normal shape

  • And there's "screwed up", as in "he screwed up his face in frustration". Although this expression probably has been lost to the (probably newer) meaning of "screw up". – Hot Licks Nov 30 '16 at 21:45
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Ryan made a moue.
(Here're your other thirteen characters.)
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moue

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scowl

To wrinkle or contract the brow as an expression of anger or disapproval

(thefreedictionary.com)

Ryan scowled in frustration. He knew he should have never taken his eyes off of her for even a second and now she was missing.

Another possibility would be frown.

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