\ 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

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 Lloyd goes for the visual cliché of a candlelight choir traipsing down the aisles and onto the stage, but the Mad Max anthem feels unearned for a character established primarily as an unsupportive mother, who frowns on Tina's refusal to forgive Ike. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Tina: The Tina Turner Musical': Theater Review," 8 Nov. 2019 Today two-thirds of Americans support it, and even those who frown on it make no serious effort to criminalise it. The Economist, "Societies change their minds faster than people do," 31 Oct. 2019 The vibe of the place permits a LBD or dinner jacket, but doesn't frown on casual, either. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Hotels in the U.S.: 2019 Readers' Choice Awards," 7 Oct. 2019 That could make the case go away, even if the justices often frown on an effort by one party to end a case after it has been accepted for review., "Abortion, LGBT rights, guns and more: Here are the biggest cases the Supreme Court will hear in its upcoming term," 7 Oct. 2019 That could make the case go away, even if the justices often frown on an effort by one party to end a case after it has been accepted for review. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Top cases for the Supreme Court’s new term," 5 Oct. 2019 Paint did not get off to such a good start in the New World, where the Puritans frowned on ostentation. Adam Seessel, Fortune, "Valuation: For Sherwin-Williams Investors, the Color of the Year Is Green," 1 Oct. 2019 Today, Moana was bidding her dying grandmother farewell, on mute, while Dr. F frowned over my incisors. Summer Block, Longreads, "Better Late," 23 Aug. 2019 At that time, heeling the ball backwards and carrying it was frowned upon. Tod Leonard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Art of the scrum: Legion players explain rugby’s mysterious melee," 7 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun All that has emerged from Thunderhead Mountain is an enormous face—a man of stone, surveying the world before him with a slight frown and a furrowed brow. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "Who Speaks for Crazy Horse?," 16 Sep. 2019 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

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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Statistics for frown

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for frown

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

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More Definitions for frown


How to pronounce frown (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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a calculated move

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