\ 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

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Other Words from frown


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


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for frown

Synonyms: Verb

glare, gloom, glower, lower (also lour), scowl

Synonyms: Noun

face, grimace, lower (also lour), moue, mouth, mow, mug, pout, scowl, snoot

Antonyms: Verb

beam, grin, smile

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Examples of frown in a Sentence


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


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

Stories on Steller can include video, audio and text as well as outbound links, which Instagram frowns upon. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Steller renews travel app and triples audience in a year," 1 Sep. 2019 There's been a bit of controversy in the past in regards to camps releasing lineups before the event, which is frowned upon by Burning Man. Katie Bain, Billboard, "Art Cars, Plug and Play & Playa Tech: How Electronic Music Culture Is Evolving at Burning Man," 21 Aug. 2019 His son, now 10, learned to play the rhythmic flute music by ear and hoped to play accompaniment, which was frowned upon because of his age. Raúl Vilchis, New York Times, "Breaking a Mexican Tradition That Excludes Women, to Keep It Alive in Brooklyn," 27 July 2019 For one, Meghan chose to wear jeans, which is frowned upon in the Wimbledon members' areas. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Brings Archie to Cheer on Prince Harry at a Polo Match," 10 July 2019 Documents reveal that the ownership has been moved from the club to the owners, something which has previously been frowned upon., "Villa Park Sold to Club's Owners for Mouth-Watering £56.7m to Comply With FFP Regulations," 29 June 2019 Wireless users may find that AT&T’s DirecTV Now service doesn’t count against their monthly usage limit, an arrangement that was still allowed under Wheeler’s FCC but was increasingly frowned upon. Karl Bode, The Verge, "How the new AT&T could bully its way to streaming domination," 18 Dec. 2018 Although such interactions were socially accepted, the practice was officially frowned on in Athenian democracy. Raquel López, National Geographic, "Did sons and daughters get the same education in ancient Greece?," 28 Aug. 2019 Yet one consequence of the increased regulation of musical entertainment thereafter was segregation, as moralisers frowned on racial mixing. The Economist, "Music and morals in New York’s ragtime age," 15 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So turning that frown upside down isn't likely to have any significant effect on your level of happiness—just another casualty of the ongoing replication crisis. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Cubed wombat poop, why your left nut runs hot, among Ig Nobel winners," 12 Sep. 2019 Here’s a good reason to turn that frown upside down: Optimistic people live as much as 15% longer than pessimists, according to a new study spanning thousands of people and 3 decades. David Shultz, Science | AAAS, "Cheer up! Optimists live longer," 26 Aug. 2019 Allergan, which started as a California pharmacy and then carved a niche as an eye-treatment business, rocketed into the ranks of big drugmakers after exploiting Botox for smoothing frown lines and wrinkles. Dana Cimilluca, WSJ, "AbbVie Strikes Deal to Acquire Allergan for About $63 Billion," 25 June 2019 The corners of his mouth turned down, not as a frown, but as if holding back tears. Wired, "CNN's Town Hall Made Climate Change Personal—and It Worked," 5 Sep. 2019 But for the time being, a suddenly skittish Chinese consumer apparently isn't willing to spend to improve their smiles — and that's causing a lot of frowns for Align's investors on Wall Street. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "China is hurting the braces market. Align Technology's stock plunges more than 25%," 25 July 2019 By that point, Leroy Sane was the only German left with a frown on his face, after having two goals unjustly ruled out for offside., "Realist Reus stays calm after Germany crush Estonia," 11 June 2019 An independent privacy oversight board will be spun up frown thoughtfully at Facebook’s future initiatives surrounding the creative acquisition of user data. Casey Newton, The Verge, "It’s time to regulate tech platforms with laws, not fines," 30 July 2019 Court rules frown on such broad sealing practices because truly confidential information rarely spans an entire legal brief. NBC News, "How judges added to the grim toll of opioids," 25 June 2019

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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Learn More about frown

Dictionary Entries near frown


Froward, Cape



frown on/upon



Statistics for frown

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frown

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on frown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with frown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frown

Spanish Central: Translation of frown

Nglish: Translation of frown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frown for Arabic Speakers

Comments on frown

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