Definitions

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

  • noun A small grimace; a pout.

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

  • noun a disdainful grimace

Etymologies

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

[French, from Old French moe, of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French moue, from Old French moe ("grimace"), from Frankish *mauwa (“pout, protruding lip”). Compare mow ("grimace").

Examples

  • Sophy snatched at the doll petulantly, and made what the French call a moue at the good man as she suffered her grandfather to replace her on the sofa.

    What Will He Do with It? — Complete

  • Sophy snatched at the doll petulantly, and made what the French call a moue at the good man as she suffered her grandfather to replace her on the sofa.

    What Will He Do with It? — Volume 03

  • Up he came, whom Charlotte welcomed very demurely, and so left us, saying that she must go about her household business; but as she departed she cast a look back at me, making a "moue," as the French say, with her red lips.

    A Monk of Fife

  • The doctor could not help laughing at the sort of "moue" she made: when he laughed, he had something peculiarly good-natured and genial in his look.

    Villette

  • She made a moue of distaste and raised a hand protestingly.

    Chapter 20

  • I give them a little moue to indicate that I'm not looking forward to the occasion.

    Our Merchant-Ivory Weekend

  • His typical facial expression is to set his mouth in a moue, somewhere between a pucker and a pout.

    Terry Krepel: Newsmax Gets Trumped

  • Between her half-frozen ears and flushed cheeks, a battle between a hopeful smile and an exhausted moue idled at a stalemate.

    The Fugitive Waits

  • This is because the actress will have to do that hideous Renee Zellwegger pose to the cameras, when she turns her back to them to show off her exciting backlessness and make that annoying moue of an expression: Ooh, look at my back!

    Golden Globes 2012 – as it happened

  • Miss Osborne frowned, her lips pursing in a quick moue of distaste, obviously unsure whether she was being ridiculed.

    Earl of Durkness

Comments

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  • Saying moue results in one's face assuming a moue. There has to be a word for that, a physical variant of aural onomatopoeia.

    April 1, 2008

  • What is the correct pronunciation of moue? I've always read it as moo but that can't be right...

    April 1, 2008

  • My French dictionary gives the pronunciation as:

    mu

    where the /u/ is the kind of sound you get in fou.

    As I understand it the vowel is placed very forward in the mouth (not back as in the English moo) and with somewhat pursed or pouting lips.

    Almost like a less extreme version of the contortions that teenage girls make when they go eeeeeewh!

    April 1, 2008

  • In Cheaper By The Dozen (or its sequel; can't remember) the mother tells the girls that it is improper to make a 'depreciating moue'...or something to that effect.

    August 19, 2008