Simple Definition of frowsy
: having a messy or dirty appearance
Examples of frowsy in a sentence
<a frowsy family living in wretched poverty>
<the abandoned house was dank and frowsy and barely fit for human habitation>
Did You Know?
The exact origins of this approximately 330-year-old word may be lost in some frowsy, old book somewhere, but some etymologists have speculated that "frowsy" (also spelled "frowzy") shares a common ancestor with the younger, chiefly British word frowsty, a synonym of "frowsy" in both its senses. That ancestor could be the Old French word frouste, meaning "ruinous" or "decayed," or the now mostly obsolete English word frough or frow, meaning "brittle" or "fragile." The English dramatist Thomas Otway is the first person (as far as we know) to have used "frowsy" in print. In his comedy "The Souldier's Fortune," published in 1681, the character Beau refers to another character as "a frouzy Fellmonger."
Variants of frowsy
Origin of frowsy
First Known Use: 1681
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