glow·​er | \ ˈglau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce glower (audio) , nonstandard ˈglō(-ə)r How to pronounce glower (audio) \
glowered; glowering; glowers

Definition of glower

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to look or stare with sullen annoyance or anger glowered at the noisy children in the library



Definition of glower (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sullen brooding look of annoyance or anger

Synonyms & Antonyms for glower

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Do words of uncertain origin make you scowl? If so, glower may put a frown on your face because only part of its history can be validated. The well-established part of its story leads us to Scotland, where glower (or glowren, to use the older Scottish form of the word) has been used since the late Middle Ages. Originally, the word meant simply "to look intently" or "to stare in amazement," but by the late 1700s, glowering stares were being associated with anger instead of astonishment. Beyond that, however, the history of the word is murky. The most we can say is that glower is a distant relative of Middle Low German glūren, which means "to be overcast," and of Middle Dutch gloeren, meaning "to leer."

Examples of glower in a Sentence

Verb The librarian glowered at us when she heard us laughing. baseball fans glowering at their TVs as they watched their favorite team lose
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Glowing red eyes glower from beneath a spiked mask of deep aubergine, a lethal spike slicing up from the snout like a gargantuan Japanese horned beetle. Seija Rankin,, 18 June 2020 The actor has displayed a surprising comic flair on numerous occasions, but his glum, glowering performance here leaves a central void. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Apr. 2020 Finally, the waiter, a big man with burly arms and a white apron, leaned over the counter and, propped up on his knuckles, glowered at the young man. Azi Paybarah, New York Times, 25 Mar. 2020 And even when von Sydow glowered, as many of his roles required him to do, the expansiveness of his spirit always showed through. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 9 Mar. 2020 Meanwhile, friends stopped calling; wives accustomed to a comfortable lifestyle glowered and complained; children shrank away in confusion. Helen Epstein, The New York Review of Books, 10 Mar. 2020 Meanwhile, our critical eyes see the front end as assertive but not glowering madly. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, 25 Feb. 2020 And Prospera — the magician is now a woman, played in monotonously glowering style by Synetic co-founder Irina Tsikurishvili — eventually lets her enchanted volume sink into the deluge. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2019 And especially here, in this genteel, leafy village, located midway between Dartmouth College and the towering, glowering mountains of Killington., 4 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The standout action sequence takes place at an underworld social club where all the gangsters wear crisp black suits and glower in front of white rice-paper walls that double as panels in a comic book. Amy Nicholson, Variety, 3 Sep. 2021 The next great glower won’t be found unless someone is willing to look. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 24 Aug. 2021 The husband and father, Markus, is played by the great Mads Mikkelsen, barely recognizable behind a graying beard and lethal glower. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 13 May 2021 The glower Gregg Popovich gave him could have melted butter in a Minnesota winter. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Apr. 2021 The shooting, with Oswald’s pained grimace and Mr. Leavelle’s stricken glower, was chillingly captured by Robert H. Jackson of The Dallas Times Herald in an iconic photograph that won the Pulitzer Prize the following year. Ralph Blumenthal,, 30 Aug. 2019 The shooting, with Mr. Oswald’s pained grimace and Detective Leavelle’s stricken glower, was chillingly captured by Robert H. Jackson of The Dallas Times Herald in an iconic photograph that won the Pulitzer Prize the following year. New York Times, 29 Aug. 2019 In 2017 the number of cars entering America from Canada dipped, even though the Canadian dollar strengthened, a sign that Mr Trump’s glower was putting off some. The Economist, 25 July 2019 As Cyclops, Tye Sheridan looks dumbfounded; as Storm, Alexandra Shipp glowers. Peter Rubin, WIRED, 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glower.' 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 glower


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1715, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for glower

Verb and Noun

Middle English (Scots) glowren; akin to Middle Low German glūren to be overcast, Middle Dutch gloeren to leer

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Time Traveler for glower

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The first known use of glower was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near glower

glow discharge



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Cite this Entry

“Glower.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for glower



English Language Learners Definition of glower

: to look at someone or something in an angry way


glow·​er | \ ˈglau̇-ər How to pronounce glower (audio) \
glowered; glowering

Kids Definition of glower

: to stare angrily : scowl

More from Merriam-Webster on glower

Nglish: Translation of glower for Spanish Speakers


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