\ 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 For instance, a hooked-nose face seen scowling from the upper level appears to suffer from Bell’s palsy. San Antonio Express-News, "The Gargoyles Guarding S.A.," 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, "An American in a Locked Down Chinese Town: ‘Everyone Here Is So Bored’," 10 Mar. 2020 Cameras caught many Democrats sitting and scowling during these remarks. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "'They're not gonna let up': Democratic strategist predicts Trump popularity surge with black voters in 2020," 9 Feb. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rock went best with a frown or a scowl: serious business. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Van Halen’s Sound of Sex," 6 Oct. 2020 Her face was a cross between a scowl and a laugh, her chuckles like rocks tumbling off a cliff. Victor Wei Ke Yang, Longreads, "Leadership Academy," 10 Aug. 2020 The players strut, scowl, looking nervous and thespian. James Parker, The Atlantic, "My Soccer Fandom Is Out of Shape," 18 June 2020 If that’s true, then her scowl could be due to performance anxiety. Karla L. Miller, Washington Post, "My office admin is moody, and it’s making me anxious," 12 Mar. 2020 Sony Classics/Everett Collection How much can an actor say with a grunt, or a scowl? Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The 10 Best Movie Performances of the 2010s," 14 Nov. 2019 Both sat with hands folded in their laps, a faint scowl on Cornyn’s face. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "With ritual and rancor, historic impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins," 16 Jan. 2020 Abdullah greeted him with a scowl, his arms folded over his chest. Tim Golden, ProPublica, "Operation Encore and the Saudi Connection: A Secret History of the 9/11 Investigation," 23 Jan. 2020 Thunberg’s eyes narrow and harden; her mouth twists into a skeptical scowl. Jody Rosen, New York Times, "Staring Down Donald Trump, the Same Elephant in Every Room," 16 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

Cite this Entry

“Scowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 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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