\ 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

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." This fawn is not, however, related to the noun fawn, referring to a young deer. For that we can thank the Latin noun fetus, meaning "offspring."

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 Kelee Ringo had a pick-six in the Championship game last year and at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, looks to become the next CB1 for NFL teams to fawn over. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 28 June 2022 In a tweet, State Police wrote that Trooper Paul Dabene saw the mother deer and fawn walking up an access road in Framingham that leads to the Massachusetts Turnpike. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, 6 June 2022 Nobody associated with the show was too minor for Golden-Coners to fawn over. New York Times, 4 May 2022 The social media platform has served as somewhat of a safe space for Jack Harlow fans to openly fawn over him. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 11 Apr. 2022 Spring will bring more fawn births and the CWD-positive captive herds around the state will continue to grow. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Feb. 2022 When traumatized or distressed, our flight, fight, freeze or fawn response gets triggered. Womensmedia, Forbes, 2 Jan. 2022 On television, anchors used slow-motion video to analyze and fawn over Charlie’s backswing, his follow-through, his hip turn. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 19 Dec. 2021 That Seth accepts the nickname without being so gauche as to acknowledge the honor and fawn over Bill is proof that Bill picked the right fella to knight. Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture, 14 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The colors ranged from vanilla to deep raspberry to the speckled back of a fawn. New York Times, 27 July 2022 Going matchy-matchy on her lower half with more fawn and fauna, the social media sensation chose to wear the Tia String Bikini Bottoms in the same Yomi Toile Beige Print. Seventeen, 5 July 2022 Jackie hangs back, dismayed by the assumption that she, too, is meant to flock and fawn. Anna Pitoniak, Washington Post, 13 June 2022 State Police tweeted a photo of the fawn near Dabene’s cruiser. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, 6 June 2022 Few fawn over fresh-faced candidates full of new ideas and youthful energy. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Mar. 2022 Animal control later posted an update with some good news: The fawn was returned. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, 2 June 2022 This isn't the first time an animal at the center needed help walking; years prior, a baby fawn named Clarice used a wheelchair as part of her rehabilitation too. Dan Heching, PEOPLE.com, 24 Feb. 2022 Throughout are signs of Gabrielle Chanel's private life in her Rue 31 Cambon apartment, such as a wing chair, a Goossens table with a wheatsheaf base, and a large fawn velvet banquette. Roxanne Robinson, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fawn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fawn. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fawn


\ 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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