A mechanistic model for cutting force in ultrasonic-vibration-assisted grinding (UVAG) (also called rotary ultrasonic machining) of brittle materials is proposed for the first time. Fundamental assumptions include: (1) brittle fracture is the dominant mechanism of material removal, and (2) the removed volume by each diamond grain in one vibration cycle can be related to its indentation volume in the workpiece through a mechanistic parameter. Experiments with UVAG of silicon are conducted to determine the mechanistic parameter for silicon. With the developed model, influences of six input variables on cutting force are predicted. These predicted influences trends are also compared with those determined experimentally for several brittle materials.