Definition of frowsy
- a couple of frowsy stuffed chairs
- —R. M. Williams
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
a frowsy family living in wretched poverty
the abandoned house was dank and frowsy and barely fit for human habitation
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."
First Known Use: 1681See Words from the same year
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