verb (used without object)

  1. to contract the brow, as in displeasure or deep thought; scowl.
  2. to look displeased; have an angry look.
  3. to view with disapproval; look disapprovingly (usually followed by on or upon): to frown upon a scheme.

verb (used with object)

  1. to express by a frown: to frown one’s displeasure.
  2. to force or shame with a disapproving frown: to frown someone into silence.


  1. a frowning look; scowl.
  2. any expression or show of disapproval: a tax bill that received Congressional frowns.


  1. (intr) to draw the brows together and wrinkle the forehead, esp in worry, anger, or concentration
  2. (intr; foll by on or upon) to have a dislike (of); look disapprovingly (upon)the club frowned upon political activity by its members
  3. (tr) to express (worry, etc) by frowning
  4. (tr often foll by down) to force, silence, etc, by a frowning look


  1. the act of frowning
  2. a show of dislike or displeasure

late 14c., from Old French frognier “to frown or scowl, snort, turn one’s nose up,” related to froigne “scowling look,” probably from Gaulish *frogna “nostril” (cf. Welsh ffroen “nose”), with a sense of “snort,” or perhaps “haughty grimace.” Related: Frowned; frowning.


1580s, from frown (v.).

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