\ ˈfȯn How to pronounce fawn (audio) , ˈfän \
fawned; fawning; fawns

Definition of fawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to court favor by a cringing or flattering manner courtiers fawning on the king
2 : to show affection used especially of a dog The dog was fawning on its master.



Definition of fawn (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a young deer especially : one still unweaned or retaining a distinctive baby coat
3 : a light grayish brown

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Other Words from fawn


fawner noun


fawny \ ˈfȯ-​nē How to pronounce fawn (audio) , ˈfä-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for fawn


fawn, toady, truckle, cringe, cower mean to behave abjectly before a superior. fawn implies seeking favor by servile flattery or exaggerated attention. waiters fawning over a celebrity toady suggests the attempt to ingratiate oneself by an abjectly menial or subservient attitude. toadying to his boss truckle implies the subordination of oneself and one's desires or judgment to those of a superior. truckling to a powerful lobbyist cringe suggests a bowing or shrinking in fear or servility. a cringing sycophant cower suggests a display of abject fear in the company of threatening or domineering people. cowering before a bully

Did you know?


Some people will be glad to learn the origins of "fawn"-and there's a hint about the word's etymology in that declaration. Middle English speakers adapted an Old English word meaning "to rejoice" to create the verb "faunen," which shifted in spelling over time to become "fawn." That Old English word, in turn, derives from fagan, meaning "glad." "Fagan" is also an ancestor of the English adjective "fain," whose earliest (now obsolete) meaning is "happy" or "pleased." If we follow the etymological path of "fawn" even further back, we arrive at an ancient word that also provided Old German and Old Norse with words for "happy."

Examples of fawn in a Sentence

Verb a sports star surrounded by fawning fans a student who could not wait to fawn over the new teacher
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cain believes mature bucks will grow some exceptionally large antlers this summer and that fawn production/recruitment will be average to above average in many areas. Matt Williams, Dallas News, 19 June 2021 Christina Pickles and Elliot Gould make a hilarious first impressions as Ross and Monica’s parents, who fawn all over their paleontologist son and while the mother remains highly critical about their daughter. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 31 May 2021 On November 6, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers found the carcass of a mule deer fawn with a blow dart lodged in its neck. Dave Hurteau, Field & Stream, 4 Mar. 2021 The appetite for prehistory is strong in Silicon Valley, where tech CEOs fawn over Yuval Noah Harari. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Republic, 24 Mar. 2021 All over the world, racial and ethnic groups fawn over members with less pigmentation, and frown on those who have darker complexions. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2021 In true Disney fashion, though, all these things should be able to be enjoyed alongside not merely your date but also your wee, darling daughter (over whom the dancers will fawn) and your dear, old, great gran. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, 26 Feb. 2021 Your grand gesture of love may be slightly thwarted, but keeping your cool in a frustrating situation will only make your partner (or prospective partner) fawn over you even more. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, 6 Jan. 2021 Who really wanted to watch a late-night host like Jimmy Fallon fawn over an actor through a Zoom screen? Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, 21 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gorging like gourmands on 7 pounds of plant matter a day, a doe that might normally drop one fawn a year now often gives birth to twins or triplets. Frank Hyman, WSJ, 9 July 2021 Taricco posted the photos of the fawn on social media along with a very meaningful message. Matt Williams, Dallas News, 3 July 2021 Two days later, the musician then shared another post, in which his adorable canine can be seen cuddling up beside the fawn with a smile on her face. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, 29 June 2021 Walking past cicada exoskeletons hanging from tree branches, a leaping fawn and a rat snake, Dana picked a cicada off a branch, inspected its underside, looked into its zombie eyes and flicked it forward to send it flying off again. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, 17 June 2021 The next morning the ice had melted, and a doe and her fawn were drinking the water. Washington Post, 28 May 2021 The doe returns to nurse the fawn several times a day. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 May 2021 There’s still a bit of newborn fawn to the gangly forward’s offensive game, but Jones is an eager sponge with tantalizing size and enough raw potential to land as a lottery pick. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Mar. 2021 Oregon State Police troopers found the carcass of a fawn in the city of Burns in November. oregonlive, 3 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fawn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fawn


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fawn


Middle English faunen, from Old English fagnian to rejoice, from fægen, fagan glad — more at fain entry 1


Middle English foun, from Anglo-French feun, foon young of an animal, from Vulgar Latin *feton-, feto, from Latin fetus offspring — more at fetus

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Time Traveler for fawn

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The first known use of fawn was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near fawn






fawn lily


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Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fawn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fawn. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for fawn



English Language Learners Definition of fawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

disapproving : to try to get the approval of an important or powerful person by giving that person praise, special attention, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of fawn (Entry 2 of 2)

: a young deer especially : a deer that is less than a year old
: a light brown color


\ ˈfȯn How to pronounce fawn (audio) \

Kids Definition of fawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a young deer
2 : a light grayish brown


fawned; fawning

Kids Definition of fawn (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to show affection used especially of a dog
2 : to try to win favor by acting as if someone is superior Fans fawned over the actor.

More from Merriam-Webster on fawn

Nglish: Translation of fawn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fawn for Arabic Speakers


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