\ 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

The Coastal Commission generally frowns upon seawalls, revetments and groins. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Group faces uphill battle to get sand-retaining groins on Oceanside beaches," 7 July 2019 Japanese apartment owners and real-estate agents often frown on foreign renters, fearing a language barrier or conflict over local practices such as dividing trash into various categories. Kosaku Narioka, WSJ, "Fortress Becomes Japan’s Biggest Private Apartment Landlord With $1 Billion Bet," 18 June 2019 While normally animal testing is frowned upon, this particular form seeks okay. Melissa Locker, Time, "Turkish Beekeeper Secretly Video Puts Insatiable Bears to Work Taste-Testing His Honey. The Night Vision Footage Is Perfect.," 29 Aug. 2019 In the waiting room a sullen teenage girl is frowning at her phone while her little brother drums the back of his heels against his seat. Summer Block, Longreads, "Better Late," 23 Aug. 2019 In the background, pacing and frowning into her phone, was the company’s new chief executive, Marguerite Zabar Mariscal. Elizabeth G. Dunn, New York Times, "Momofuku’s Secret Sauce: A 30-Year-Old C.E.O.," 16 Aug. 2019 Zorah Horst is shown frowning, her eyes welling with tears. John Caniglia,, "‘A missing child can never be forgotten’: Police, surviving sister seek answers in 1928 disappearance of Orrville boy," 21 July 2019 Even if that means posting a video to her Instagram story of her frowning, jet-lagged on a plane and totally over it. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner kills viral Bottle Cap Challenge with hilarious video," 12 July 2019 Many of Jerusalem's residents are observant Jews, Muslims or Christians, communities that often frown on homosexuality. Caron Creighton, Fox News, "Thousands march in Jerusalem Gay Pride amid surrogacy uproar," 2 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Sporting an exaggerated frown, Miley pretended to be upset with Liam. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth Wore Coordinating Outfits to the “Avengers: Endgame” Premiere," 23 Apr. 2019 This is Eisenberg, after all, the doyen of the flinch and the frown. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“The Farewell” Mixes Mourning and Revelry," 12 July 2019 This melting dome will turn that frown upside-down. Simona Matovic,, "How to upgrade your grilling toolkit | Check out Amazon’s top-rated grill tools," 18 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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Learn More about frown

Dictionary Entries near frown


Froward, Cape



frown on/upon



Statistics for frown

Last Updated

18 Sep 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

What made you want to look up frown? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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