\ ˈfrau̇n How to pronounce frown (audio) \
frowned; frowning; frowns

Definition of frown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to contract the brow in displeasure or concentration frowned in anger
2 : to give evidence of displeasure or disapproval by or as if by facial expression critics frown on the idea

transitive verb

: to show displeasure with or disapproval of especially by facial expression I will be neither frowned nor ridiculed into error— Noah Webster



Definition of frown (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an expression of displeasure
2 : a wrinkling of the brow in displeasure or concentration

Other Words from frown


frowner noun
frowningly \ ˈfrau̇-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce frown (audio) \ adverb


frowny \ ˈfrau̇-​nē How to pronounce frown (audio) \ adjective, informal
a frowny face

Synonyms & Antonyms for frown

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of frown in a Sentence

Verb She was frowning when she entered the room, so I knew that she was annoyed about something. the boss just stood there and frowned at his assistant who, once again, was in trouble Noun it was clear from the frown on the CEO's face that sales were headed in the wrong direction
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Local Chinese gaming regulations frown upon gory or particularly violent games and require that all text within a game must be in simplified Chinese (Devotion features traditional Chinese with an option of English captions). Washington Post, 24 May 2021 Friends and family continue to ask me if employers will frown on employment gaps on their post-pandemic resume, often caused by a disability. Denise Brodey, Forbes, 31 May 2021 American workplaces frown on gaps in résumés, especially for women doing caregiving. New York Times, 17 May 2021 Granted, some marketers or recruiters may frown at this, especially considering the pay such positions may offer. Yec, Forbes, 1 June 2021 But scientists frown on naming diseases after places, which can be stigmatizing. Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2021 But some real estate professionals frown on the practice, warning that while their intent may be sincere, personalized letters — and accompanying photographs — have the potential to pose problems. Star Tribune, 28 May 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 Men, too, are showing up at G Curls and in curly Facebook groups, despite rigid gender norms that frown on male grooming. New York Times, 11 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun KennyHoopla is sitting on the steps behind the stage of Pier 17 in downtown Manhattan, his hands neatly folded in his lap, his head and shoulders hunching his body into a ball, his lips in a despondent frown. Reed Dunlea, Rolling Stone, 16 Nov. 2021 Sitting on the rickety frame of a wooden bed, 14-year-old Othman Fares eyed the aid workers with a frown. Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2021 The individual was not an invention of the Renaissance, either, but the development of realistic depiction placed greater value on the inner life, whether of the martyr’s sinew or the politician’s frown. Dominic Green, WSJ, 15 Oct. 2021 His first glance was the frown of the man; the second was the bland and sickly smile of the demagogue. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 Throughout the morning’s proceedings, Kelly, 54, sat silently at the defense table, stone-faced except for an occasional, barely perceptible frown. Jason Meisner,, 18 Aug. 2021 This time a happy face appeared only to be replaced by one with a frown. Ryan Kost, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 July 2021 Where to go in a world where every slight, every frown, every chagrin, every cloud and every rainy day is a cause for outrage, denunciation, shame, self-abnegation and maybe even a congressional investigation or two? WSJ, 14 June 2021 One of these slices in the state is the Denali Fault, the trace of which is visible from satellite within a frown of Alaska Range mountains in the center of the state. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 5 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frown.' 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 frown


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for frown

Verb and Noun

Middle English frounen, from Middle French frogner to snort, frown, of Celtic origin; akin to Welsh ffroen nostril, Old Irish srón nose

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Time Traveler for frown

Time Traveler

The first known use of frown was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near frown



frown on/upon

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Statistics for frown

Cite this Entry

“Frown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for frown



English Language Learners Definition of frown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make a frown in anger, concentration, etc.



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

: a serious facial expression that usually shows anger, displeasure, or concentration


\ ˈfrau̇n How to pronounce frown (audio) \
frowned; frowning

Kids Definition of frown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to have a serious facial expression (as in anger or thought)
2 : to look with disapproval … Jo frowned upon the whole project and would have nothing to do with it …— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women



Kids Definition of frown (Entry 2 of 2)

: a serious facial expression that shows anger, unhappiness, or deep thought

More from Merriam-Webster on frown

Nglish: Translation of frown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frown for Arabic Speakers


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