\ ˈskau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce scowl (audio) \
scowled; scowling; scowls

Definition of scowl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to contract the brow in an expression of displeasure
2 : to exhibit a threatening aspect

transitive verb

: to express with a scowl



Definition of scowl (Entry 2 of 2)

: a facial expression of displeasure : frown

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Other Words from scowl


scowler noun
scowlingly \ ˈskau̇-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce scowlingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for scowl

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of scowl in a Sentence

Verb scowled down at the misbehaving child Noun The teacher gave me a scowl when I walked in late. She responded to his question with a scowl.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb John the Pirate sat in the corner booth, scowling, and shed a single tear. Alex Baia, The New Yorker, "Postmodernist Pirate Jokes," 9 Nov. 2019 Well, that and Galifianakis, who once again mocks himself to scowling, Doritos-smelling perfection. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie’ brings Zach Galifianakis’ hilarious web series to Netflix," 20 Sep. 2019 An aide later posted a picture that showed him, scowling at the head of the table, with military officials and the vice president looking on. Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: Trump gives vivid account of the Baghdadi raid," 27 Oct. 2019 Pugh scowled at a couple of Cardinals' beat writers. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Cardinals' improved offensive line play has Arizona in position for third consecutive win," 19 Oct. 2019 The clips show people doing mundane tasks: laughing or scowling into the camera; walking aimlessly down corridors; hugging awkwardly. Wired, "Even the AI Behind Deepfakes Can’t Save Us From Being Duped," 2 Oct. 2019 On the corner of Mount Rushmore Road and Main Street, a diminutive Andrew Jackson scowls and crosses his arms; on Ninth and Main, a shoulder-high Teddy Roosevelt strikes an impressive pose, holding a petite sword. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "Who Speaks for Crazy Horse?," 16 Sep. 2019 On a recent visit to his land, Appleton scowled at two orange-vested workers hacking at the vegetation with power tools. Los Angeles Times, "This activist bought 4.5 acres of the L.A. River just to have a stake in its revitalization," 5 Aug. 2019 The girl scowled and kicked a pebble down the sidewalk. Stephanie Green,, "2019 Algren Awards: Finalist: Host Mother," 20 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During the week that Brown was eliminated, as host Tom Bergeron announced that Spicer was safe, Inaba dropped her head into her hands, while head Goodman gave a clear scowl and Tonioli looked extremely confused. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "ABC President Defends Network's Decision to Cast Sean Spicer In 'DWTS'," 9 Jan. 2020 For now, the machine is only available in this color, which will inevitably make some users scowl. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "HP Elite Dragonfly review: Luxurious, professional, expensive," 15 Dec. 2019 The plan, which is intended to alleviate curbside congestion and reduce airport traffic, was met with a collective scowl when it was announced last year., "I walked to all four Logan terminals from central parking, where app ride vehicles — that’s the fancy way of saying Uber and Lyft — will be required to drop off and pick up travelers starting later this month when Logan begins banning curbside drop-offs.," 17 Oct. 2019 At the grocery store, some of you have been rushing around with big scowls on your faces. Elaine Ayala,, "It’s Thanksgiving, San Antonio, let’s be good to one another," 28 Nov. 2019 Only the world’s biggest movie star could upstage her own movie with each fearsome scowl. Joey Nolfi,, "Critics praise Angelina Jolie in 'enjoyably deranged' sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," 15 Oct. 2019 And so Phoenix, though impossible as ever to look away from, never achieves the full force of revelation; his arresting performance suggests a familiar arsenal of scowls, howls, grins and grimaces snapping methodically into place. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Joaquin Phoenix puts on quite a show in ‘Joker.’ And the portrait of madness is both bleak and glib," 1 Oct. 2019 Though this adorably cynical-seeming cat passed away in May, her iconic scowl lives on. Garrett Mitchell, azcentral, "Need a last-minute Halloween costume? Dress as one of these Arizona internet icons," 28 Oct. 2019 Judge Carrie Ann Inaba dropped her head into her hands, while head judge Len Goodman gave a clear scowl. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "Eagle-Eye 'DWTS' Fans Spotted The Judges' Disappointed Reactions to Sean Spicer Being Saved Again," 29 Oct. 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1520, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scowl


Middle English skoulen, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish skule to scowl

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Time Traveler for scowl

Time Traveler

The first known use of scowl was in the 14th century

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Statistics for scowl

Last Updated

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scowl.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for scowl


How to pronounce scowl (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scowl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to look at someone or something in a way that shows anger or disapproval



English Language Learners Definition of scowl (Entry 2 of 2)

: an expression on someone's face that shows anger or disapproval


\ ˈskau̇l How to pronounce scowl (audio) \
scowled; scowling

Kids Definition of scowl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make a look that shows anger
2 : to say with an angry look



Kids Definition of scowl (Entry 2 of 2)

: an angry look

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More from Merriam-Webster on scowl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scowl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scowl

Spanish Central: Translation of scowl

Nglish: Translation of scowl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scowl for Arabic Speakers

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