Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To wrinkle or contract the brow as an expression of anger or disapproval. synonym: frown.
  • intransitive verb To express (displeasure, for example) with a frowning facial expression.
  • noun A look of anger or frowning disapproval.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A lowering or wrinkling of the brows as in anger or displeasure; a look of anger, displeasure, discontent, or sullenness; a frown or frowning appearance or look.
  • noun Old workings at the outcrop of the deposits of iron ore. Some of these are of large dimensions, and are ascribed to the Romans.
  • To lower the brows as in anger or displeasure; frown, or put on a frowning look; look gloomy, severe, or angry: either literally or figuratively.
  • To affect with a scowl: as, to scowl one down or away.
  • To send with a scowling or threatening aspect.

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

  • intransitive verb To wrinkle the brows, as in frowning or displeasure; to put on a frowning look; to look sour, sullen, severe, or angry.
  • intransitive verb Hence, to look gloomy, dark, or threatening; to lower.
  • noun The wrinkling of the brows or face in frowing; the expression of displeasure, sullenness, or discontent in the countenance; an angry frown.
  • noun Hence, gloom; dark or threatening aspect.
  • transitive verb To look at or repel with a scowl or a frown.
  • transitive verb To express by a scowl.

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

  • noun The wrinkling of the brows or face in frowning; the expression of displeasure, sullenness, or discontent in the countenance; an angry frown.
  • noun Hence, gloom; dark or threatening aspect.
  • verb To wrinkle the brows, as in frowning or displeasure; to put on a frowning look; to look sour, sullen, severe, or angry.
  • verb Hence, to look gloomy, dark, or threatening; to lower.
  • verb To look at or repel with a scowl or a frown.
  • verb To express by a scowl; as, to scowl defiance.

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

  • verb frown with displeasure
  • noun a facial expression of dislike or displeasure

Etymologies

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

[Middle English scoulen, probably of Scandinavian origin.]

Examples

  • I heard he has a mean scowl from the bench.vs. Pittsburgh, 12/23/10

    Capitals games I'm NOT looking forward to in 2010-11

  • His little scowl is probably a response to the putrid stench that pervaded all of the flooded neighborhoods (that or he's just yukking it up for the camera).

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • His little scowl is probably a response to the putrid stench that pervaded all of the flooded neighborhoods (that or he's just yukking it up for the camera).

    This Old House

  • Kurt belched loudly, provoking a scowl from the Greek.

    Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

  • Kristen Stewart’s perma-scowl is gonna be working overtime once she gets wind of reports that Robert Pattinson — her rumored love interest on and off the set of the Twilight films — has been secretly bumping uglies with Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester.

    Leighton Meester “Birthday” Song (Audio)

  • Somewhere behind the scowl was the start of a little-boy grin.

    The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading

  • Somewhere behind the scowl was the start of a little-boy grin.

    The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading

  • A scowl was the only reply, but the big mestizo lowered his bow and turned over on his bed of leaves.

    The Adventures of Piang the Moro Jungle Boy A Book for Young and Old

  • This favour was dispensed to you from under an overbearing scowl, which is the true expression of the great autocrat when he has made up his mind to give a battering to some ships and to hunt certain others home in one breath of cruelty and benevolence, equally distracting.

    The Mirror of the Sea

  • A certain over-hanging of his brows was -- especially when he contracted them, as, in perplexity or endeavour, he not infrequently did -- called a scowl by such as did not love him; but it was of shallow insignificance, and probably the trick of some ancestor.

    There & Back

Comments

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  • I was thinking about this word earlier, because of the words it contains — cow, scow, cowl. There aren't a whole lot of words which can, discounting inflection, be expanded on either side or both to form new words. I wonder if there is a name for this kind of wordplay.

    August 22, 2008

  • Good observation. There's something about the way this word sounds that feels very overwhelming for me.

    August 22, 2008