Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To wrinkle the brow, as in thought or displeasure.
  • intransitive v. To regard something with disapproval or distaste: frowned on the use of so much salt in the food.
  • transitive v. To express (disapproval, for example) by wrinkling the brow.
  • n. A wrinkling of the brow in thought or displeasure; a scowl.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A facial expression in which the eyebrows are brought together, and the forehead is wrinkled, usually indicating displeasure, sadness or worry, or less often confusion or concentration.
  • v. To have a frown on one's face.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wrinkling of the face in displeasure, rebuke, etc.; a sour, severe, or stern look; a scowl.
  • n. Any expression of displeasure
  • intransitive v. To contract the brow in displeasure, severity, or sternness; to scowl; to put on a stern, grim, or surly look.
  • intransitive v. To manifest displeasure or disapprobation; to look with disfavor or threateningly; to lower.
  • transitive v. To repress or repel by expressing displeasure or disapproval; to rebuke with a look.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To contract the brow as an expression of displeasure or severity, or merely of perplexity, concentrated attention, etc.; put on a stern or surly look; scowl.
  • To look or act disapprovingly or threateningly; lower: as, to frown upon a scheme.
  • To repress or repel by an aspect of displeasure; rebuke by a stern or angry look or by severe words or conduct: as, to frown one into silence; to frown down a proposition.
  • n. A contraction or wrinkling of the brow expressing displeasure or severity, or merely perplexity, difficult concentration of thought, etc.; a severe or stern look; a scowl.
  • n. Any expression or show of disapproval or displeasure: as, the frowns of Providence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a facial expression of dislike or displeasure
  • v. look angry or sullen, wrinkle one's forehead, as if to signal disapproval

Etymologies

Middle English frounen, from Old French froigner, to turn up one's nose, from frogne, grimace, of Celtic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French frognier ("to frown or scowl"), from Gaulish frogna ("nostril"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Monarch, that rulest over an hundred states; whose frown is terrible as death, and whose armies cover the land, boast not thyself as though there were none above thee: – God is above thee;

    Hymns in Prose for Children

  • What could force a frown is the U.S. relationship with Taiwan.

    PERISCOPE

  • "Anyone vain and foolish enough to have himself or herself injected with a deadly toxin to remove so-called frown lines is a good candidate for a silicone brain implant as well," suggested another.

    What's Wrong With Wrinkles?

  • Her frown was a bare flicker, lasting only a fraction of a fraction of a second, but in that instant a hole opened in his chest.

    Cyclops One

  • Her frown was the crossword puzzle, her blinks the baseball scores.

    Villa Incognito

  • She smiled and started to play, and then a waitress came in, a young Hispanic woman, and the waitress frowned at us, but under the frown was a laugh, and she raised a finger to her lips as if we were sharing a secret.

    Dreams From My Father

  • Having been the Supreme White Man in some African district for dozens of years before the War, all his hair seems to have got into his eyebrows, and his frown is a terrible thing to see.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 153, December 26, 1917

  • With the latter a frown is the sign of negation, and with us frowning often accompanies a lateral shake of the head.

    The expression of the emotions in man and animals

  • THE corrugators, by their contraction, lower the eyebrows and bring them together, producing vertical furrows on the forehead -- that is, a frown.

    The expression of the emotions in man and animals

  • Her trim little figure was surcharged with a magnetism that thrilled one to the very core; her brown eyes danced ruthlessly through one's most stubborn defences; her smile and her frown were the thermometers by which masculine emotions could be gauged at a glance.

    Her Weight in Gold

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