\ 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 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 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, "The Freedom of Natural Curls: Egypt’s Quiet Rebellion," 11 Mar. 2021 After all, few economists frown at the idea of borrowing to make productive investments. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "As the U.S. Embraces Stimulus Checks, Others Might Take a Different Path," 4 Mar. 2021 Guidelines set out by the city Planning Commission frown on splitting a street in such a fashion, although those could be overridden by the City Council. Jeff Adelson,, "Here's what could come in the final report on renaming New Orleans streets," 27 Jan. 2021 Yet nothing can seem to turn the Sanders frown upside down. James Freeman, WSJ, "Can Bernie Sanders Find Happiness?," 28 Dec. 2020 And Cincinnati may be in the mix with a win against Tulsa in the American championship game, though the playoff selection committee would frown on including a program from the Group of Five. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Clemson rolls to another ACC championship and sends warning to playoff field," 20 Dec. 2020 This Spurs-themed ugly Christmas sweater takes the tackiness a step further with the addition of 3-D graphics for a festive look that Coach Pop would definitely frown upon. Anastacia Uriegas, Chron, "Totally tacky Texas gifts for the Texan in your life," 17 Nov. 2020 Nobody likes to lose, but even freshmen law students know that the rules of ethics and professionalism frown upon lawyers publicly dissing judges. Clancy Dubos,, "Clancy DuBos: Yes, Jeff Landry really is that dumb," 13 Nov. 2020 There’s plenty going on with one comely client of Sam’s that the American Counseling Association would frown upon. Washington Post, "‘Gone Girl’ is far from gone: The blockbuster thriller continues to infect the genre," 23 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This same sort of frown would appear in Galileo data when the spacecraft passed through the ionospheres of Jupiter's moons, Collinson noted. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Parker Solar Probe detects a radio signal from Venus' atmosphere," 4 May 2021 Your boss doesn't respond to a text, a colleague wears a frown and uses a certain tone of voice. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, "How To Reboot Your Career If You Get The Brush-Off At Work," 4 Apr. 2021 His brow is furrowed, forehead creased, eyes wizened by crow’s feet, and mouth tensed the smallest amount past a resting frown., "At the MFA, new galleries bring visitors eye to eye with ancient Egypt," 24 Mar. 2021 If a leader has an intention of being helpful but enters the conversation with arms folded and a frown, these are unintentional attributes. Tim Hagen, Forbes, "Why Conversation Coaching Skills Are A Must," 1 Mar. 2021 Those who knew it wasn’t coming down spread the good news to anyone who came with a frown. Los Angeles Times, "Column: People came by to pay final respects to this East L.A. tree that went Hollywood. Too soon?," 1 Jan. 2021 With a frown and a shake of his head, Pompeo brushed aside the question of cooperating with Joe Biden. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "Want to Inherit the G.O.P.? Be Prepared to Dance Around the Truth," 24 Nov. 2020 Chrissy shared a video of herself looking in the bathroom mirror, her lips posed in a seemingly-permanent frown. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Got a Tribute Tattoo in Honor of Her Son, Jack," 1 Nov. 2020 Rock went best with a frown or a scowl: serious business. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Van Halen’s Sound of Sex," 6 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for frown

Last Updated

20 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Frown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frown

Nglish: Translation of frown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frown for Arabic Speakers

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