[ koun-tn-uh ns ]
/ ˈkaʊn tn əns /


verb (used with object), coun·te·nanced, coun·te·nanc·ing.

to permit or tolerate: You should not have countenanced his rudeness.
to approve, support, or encourage.

Nearby words

  1. countable,
  2. countably additive function,
  3. countably compact set,
  4. countback,
  5. countdown,
  6. counter,
  7. counter check,
  8. counter electromotive force,
  9. counter jumper,
  10. counter reformation


    out of countenance, visibly disconcerted; abashed: He was somewhat out of countenance at the prospect of an apology.

Origin of countenance

1250–1300; Middle English cuntenaunce behavior, bearing, self-control < Anglo-French cuntena(u)nce, Old French contenance < Latin continentia; see continence

Related formscoun·te·nanc·er, nounun·coun·te·nanced, adjectiveun·der·coun·te·nance, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for countenance

British Dictionary definitions for countenance


/ (ˈkaʊntɪnəns) /


the face, esp when considered as expressing a person's character or mooda pleasant countenance
support or encouragement; sanction
composure; self-control (esp in the phrases keep or lose one's countenance; out of countenance)

verb (tr)

to support or encourage; sanction
to tolerate; endure
Derived Formscountenancer, noun

Word Origin for countenance

C13: from Old French contenance mien, behaviour, from Latin continentia restraint, control; see contain

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

Word Origin and History for countenance
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper