\ 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

Other Words from scowl


scowler noun
scowlingly \ ˈskau̇-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce scowl (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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But from that point forward, Straw Man Army — Owen Deutsch and Sean Fentress — refuses to fume, panic, scowl or proselytize. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2022 The first 40,000 fans in attendance Tuesday received a Muncy doll that featured the bearded slugger in his road grays, a batting helmet on his head and scowl on his face, pointing his left index finger angrily toward the sky. Mike Digiovanna, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2021 Every lip curl, scowl, and hip shake is precisely copied by Do-Nguyen, who was then 16 years old and shot most of the scenes cloaked in a blue Snuggie. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 10 May 2021 From the sidelines, coal firms will scowl at efforts to curb demand in Asia and oil drillers wince at support for electric cars. The Economist, 18 Apr. 2021 Van Pelt wasn’t the only one who noticed that Mayfield had an early Steelers scowl on. cleveland, 31 Dec. 2020 Some locals scowl in disbelief at the news that Kidd brings them, clinging stubbornly to their certainty that the future is theirs and theirs alone to determine. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, 11 Dec. 2020 For instance, a hooked-nose face seen scowling from the upper level appears to suffer from Bell’s palsy. San Antonio Express-News, 28 Mar. 2020 One day, a guard paused to look at Mr. Huang’s passport, then looked up and scowled. Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, 10 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Only Cherundolo now delivers that message with something closer to a smile than a scowl. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2022 Some stories creep up in disguise, hiding a ghastly scowl. Naveen Kumar, Variety, 17 Apr. 2022 The cat, which has developed a considerable following on social media, has grayish-white fur, yellow eyes ringed in black and a distinctive scowl on his face. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Feb. 2022 For years, his bald head, scowl and goatee, combined with a cutting wit, were powerful weapons of intimidation in Gilbert’s role as a top Republican debater in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2022 But late Wednesday night, inside Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, Isai’s in-game scowl was replaced with a beaming smile. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 2 Mar. 2022 Long after a smile replaced his scowl, Nate Oats chuckled thinking through his resumé. Michael Casagrande |, al, 16 Feb. 2022 Associate Judge Stanley Sacks sat on the bench with a scowl last week as prosecutors presented their request to resentence Charles Miles, who was given a total of 25 years in two burglary cases. Chicago Tribune Staff,, 28 Mar. 2022 Then, the scowl — inspired by three years of unfinished business — will return. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 12 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for scowl


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on scowl

Nglish: Translation of scowl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scowl for Arabic Speakers


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