frowsy was our Word of the Day on 04/19/2010. Hear the podcast!
Examples of frowsy in a sentence
a frowsy family living in wretched poverty
the abandoned house was dank and frowsy and barely fit for human habitation
Did You Know?
The exact origins of this approximately 330-year-old word may be lost in some frowsy, old book somewhere, but some etymologists have speculated that "frowsy" (also spelled "frowzy") shares a common ancestor with the younger, chiefly British word frowsty, a synonym of "frowsy" in both its senses. That ancestor could be the Old French word frouste, meaning "ruinous" or "decayed," or the now mostly obsolete English word frough or frow, meaning "brittle" or "fragile." The English dramatist Thomas Otway is the first person (as far as we know) to have used "frowsy" in print. In his comedy "The Souldier's Fortune," published in 1681, the character Beau refers to another character as "a frouzy Fellmonger."
Origin and Etymology of frowsy
First Known Use: 1681
FROWSY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of frowsy for English Language Learners
: having a messy or dirty appearance
Seen and Heard
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