Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Unkempt; slovenly.
  • adjective Having an unpleasant smell; musty.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In a state of disorder; offensive to the eye; slovenly; soiled; dingy; unkempt; dirty: said especially of the dress or the hair.
  • Musty; rank; frowy.
  • Froward; peevish; surly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Slovenly; unkempt; untidy; frouzy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Alternative spelling of frowsy

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

  • adjective negligent of neatness especially in dress and person; habitually dirty and unkempt

Etymologies

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

[Origin unknown.]

Examples

  • And here to the doorstep came the "slavey," very frowzy and very perplexed, to tell me that the missus would let me come back and wait in the kitchen.

    JOHNNY UPRIGHT

  • There we were, in our Sunday best, watching the frowzy drowsy fille advance to the west.

    The French word for plastered drunk... - French Word-A-Day

  • And truly I saw Johnny Upright, and his good wife and fair daughters, and frowzy slavey, like so many ghosts flitting eastward through the gloom, the monster city roaring at their heels.

    MY LODGING AND SOME OTHERS

  • There we were, in our Sunday best, watching the frowzy drowsy fille advance to the west.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • Soprano Emily Albrink's pert, pearl-toned Susanna may have been the liveliest, most affectionately detailed performance of the evening, but the coltish Cherubino of mezzo Brandy Lynn Hawkins, the amusingly frowzy Marcellina of mezzo Cynthia Hanna and the winkingly flamboyant turn by tenor Jesús Daniel Hernandez as Basilio all made fine impressions.

    In performance: WNO's young artists in "Nozze"

  • She walked in the door, Tanya Berenger, in a maxidress and thrift-shop boots, once a well-known costume designer, now ancient and frowzy, living in a room in a sad hotel off Times Square, a place where the desk clerk sits behind a grille eating a tongue sandwich.

    Underworld

  • She walked in the door, Tanya Berenger, in a maxidress and thrift-shop boots, once a well-known costume designer, now ancient and frowzy, living in a room in a sad hotel off Times Square, a place where the desk clerk sits behind a grille eating a tongue sandwich.

    Underworld

  • This knife-wielding psychopath isn't jaunty, but hunched and frowzy.

    A suffocatingly dark 'Knight'

  • The old lady with the shawl and trowel adores her frowzy garden and in the vanished days of the empire-the pulse of the explorer quickened at the sight of a desert floor.

    Bringing It All Back Home

  • She walked in the door, Tanya Berenger, in a maxidress and thrift-shop boots, once a well-known costume designer, now ancient and frowzy, living in a room in a sad hotel off Times Square, a place where the desk clerk sits behind a grille eating a tongue sandwich.

    Underworld

Comments

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  • (adj): A woman who is somewhat muscular, and has mannish mannerisms, possibly including facial hair. From the german: frau.

    August 17, 2009

  • Says who? Origin uncertain according to Online Etymological Dictionary (see OE link above).

    August 17, 2009

  • OED says perhaps cognate with frowsty, which it says is of uncertain origin but looks like OF frouste, meaning ruinous, decayed. There's also a reference to frowze, n., meaning perhaps "a wig of frizzed hair worn by women", also called uncertain and perhaps an alteration of frounce with reference to friz and fuzz.

    I can't believe it has anything to do with frau, since frauen are not in the slightest frowzy.

    August 17, 2009

  • also frowsy; underused

    April 19, 2010

  • My parents were from Lancashire UK, and frowsy (frowzy) meant that feeling you get when you wake up after a lunchtime nap - tired, muzzy, slightly vague, dishevelled. The sort of feeling you get when you need to get going and shake off the torpor!

    August 4, 2010

  • NO does not match

    LIKE A BOSS

    April 22, 2013