verb (used without object)

  1. to draw down or contract the brows in a sullen, displeased, or angry manner.
  2. to have a gloomy or threatening look.

verb (used with object)

  1. to affect or express with a scowl.


  1. a scowling expression, look, or aspect.


  1. (intr) to contract the brows in a threatening or angry manner


  1. a gloomy or threatening expression

v.mid-14c., from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian skule “look furtively, squint, look embarrassed,” Danish skule “to scowl, cast down the eyes”). Probably related to Old English sceolh “wry, oblique,” Old High German scelah “curved,” German scheel “squint-eyed;” from PIE root *sqel- “crooked, curved, bent.” Related: Scowled; scowling. n.c.1500, from scowl (v.).

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