• moue
  • audio pronunciation
  • \MOO\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: a little grimace : pout
  • EXAMPLES

"She made a little moue, shrugged one shoulder, dipped her head ever so slightly to set the artificial bird atop her hat in motion." (T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Road to Wellville)

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Moue is one of two similar-sounding words in English that refer to a pout or grimace; the other is "mow," which is pronounced to rhyme either with "no" or "now." "Mow" and "mou" share the same origin (the Anglo-French "mouwe") and a distant relationship to a Middle Dutch word for a protruding lip. (They do not, however, share a relationship to the word "mouth," which derives from Old English "mūth.") While use of "moue" in English only traces back a little more than 150 years, "mow" dates all the way back to the 14th century. "Moue" has also seen occasional use as a verb, as when Nicholson Baker, in the August 15, 1988 New Yorker, described how a woman applying lip gloss would "slide the lip from side to side under it and press her mouth together and then moue it outward…"

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