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

intransitive verb

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


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: a sullen brooding look of annoyance or anger

Did you know?

We send this word, glower, out to the glaring grumps, the scowling scoundrels, and the pouting pessimists of the world. Its gloomy roots grow in 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. We can offer no explanation for this semantic development, but we will submit that in its evolved form it reminds us of an older and unrelated English word: lower (it rhymes with flower) means "to frown or look sullen."

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
The most notable is a glowering destroyer that gathers steam during an evening rodeo, clobbering the grandstand and nearby motel almost without warning. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 July 2024 Actor Manny Jacinto successfully sells the transformation from hapless henchman to glowering evildoer. Eliana Dockterman, TIME, 3 July 2024
The cop, Rana (played with a perpetual glower by Sikandar Kher), is also the man who destroyed Kid’s village. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 12 Mar. 2024 At the gym, Rodz helped McCallany perfect everything from Fritz’s menacing glower to that signature Iron Claw. Devan Coggan,, 22 Dec. 2023 See all Example Sentences for glower 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'glower.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1715, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near glower

Cite this Entry

“Glower.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to stare angrily
glower noun

More from Merriam-Webster on glower

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