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90s Slang You Should Know


[froun] /fraʊn/
verb (used without object)
to contract the brow, as in displeasure or deep thought; scowl.
to look displeased; have an angry look.
to view with disapproval; look disapprovingly (usually followed by on or upon):
to frown upon a scheme.
verb (used with object)
to express by a frown:
to frown one's displeasure.
to force or shame with a disapproving frown:
to frown someone into silence.
a frowning look; scowl.
any expression or show of disapproval:
a tax bill that received Congressional frowns.
Origin of frown
1350-1400; Middle English frounen < Old French froignier, derivative of froigne surly expression, probably < Gaulish *frognā; compare Welsh ffroen, Old Breton fron nostril, Old Irish srón nose < Celtic *srognā or *sroknā
Related forms
frowner, noun
frowningly, adverb
half-frowning, adjective
half-frowningly, adverb
unfrowning, adjective
1. glower, lower, gloom. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for frown
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It's pretty," said the woman, then caught the frown on the man's face.

    Captives of the Flame Samuel R. Delany
  • "The arrows of your wit must not take me for their target," she said, and made a pretence to frown.

    The God of Love Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • And Armstrong read, his forehead slowly grooving into something very like a frown.

  • Then realizing from her frown that she did not understand him, he returned to Bomongo.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • Mrs. O'Toole stood in the doorway with a rough stick in her left hand and a frown on her brow.

    Toaster's Handbook Peggy Edmund and Harold W. Williams, compilers
  • The girl gave her father a frown of protest, but Mayo smiled at her.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • He tapped upon his desk with the pencil he held, and a frown gathered between his eyes.

    Dixie Martin Grace May North
British Dictionary definitions for frown


(intransitive) to draw the brows together and wrinkle the forehead, esp in worry, anger, or concentration
(intransitive; foll by on or upon) to have a dislike (of); look disapprovingly (upon): the club frowned upon political activity by its members
(transitive) to express (worry, etc) by frowning
(transitive) often foll by down. to force, silence, etc, by a frowning look
the act of frowning
a show of dislike or displeasure
Derived Forms
frowner, noun
frowningly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French froigner, of Celtic origin; compare Welsh ffroen nostril, Middle Breton froan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for frown

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.).


1580s, from frown (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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