\ 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 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 Granted, the skipper has flashed a couple of postgame scowls here and there. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Newman: Credit Bud Black’s steely demeanor for keeping Rockies on track amid roller-coaster first half," 3 July 2019 Moriah said again, because now the woman at the next table had set down her newspaper and was openly staring and scowling in their direction. Danielle Tcholakian, Longreads, "The ‘Treasonous’ Teens Living in One Nation Under Guns," 30 May 2018 Moriah said again, because now the woman at the next table had set down her newspaper and was openly staring and scowling in their direction. Danielle Tcholakian, Longreads, "The ‘Treasonous’ Teens Living in One Nation Under Guns," 30 May 2018 All of the newest MacBook Pros exclusively feature Thunderbolt 3 ports, which some will appreciate but all will scowl at when they're forced to buy multiple dongles to connect legacy accessories. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Apple to stop selling 2015 MacBook Pro with old-style keyboard, legacy ports," 12 July 2018 Ball was scowling at the screen when the phone on his table buzzed. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 His disarming southern drawl always belied his I’ll-do-the-dirty-work-without-remorse attitude and ever-present in-game scowl., "Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that Kendrick Perkins is fast becoming a star NBA analyst.," 8 Oct. 2019 The state visit began with the first couple squinting into the sunlight — his face resting in a scowl, her eyes nearly lost in the dark shadows of her lashes. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "At second state dinner, Melania Trump’s dress is as quiet and dutiful as her," 21 Sep. 2019 And there’s a scowl that replaces the smile when game time arrives. San Diego Union-Tribune, "5 questions with ... Aztecs TE Parker Houston," 20 Aug. 2019 Above all, stop comparing the gathering mess of the 2020 presidential campaign season to television, particularly to (insert moralistic scowl here) reality TV. Washington Post, "Can we get past the idea that politics is a reality show? Not if CNN has anything to do with it.," 2 Aug. 2019 Crossed arms, lack of eye contact, and a scowl never work. Phil Blair, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How to be a better listener by not talking so much," 9 Sep. 2019 Nothing says Happy Halloween like a scary hobgoblin, all scowls and just looking for trouble. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "Hobgoblin Pumpkin," 9 Sep. 2019 Wu can render a petulant scowl hilarious by allowing it to linger on her face past the point of excess. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Constance Wu’s Hollywood Destiny," 16 Sep. 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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Statistics for scowl

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for scowl

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

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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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