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[dis-koun-tn-uh ns]
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verb (used with object), dis·coun·te·nanced, dis·coun·te·nanc·ing.
  1. to disconcert, embarrass, or abash: With his composure, he survived every attempt to discountenance him.
  2. to show disapproval of: The teachers discountenanced smoking by the students.
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  1. disapproval; disapprobation.
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Origin of discountenance

First recorded in 1570–80; dis-1 + countenance
Related formsdis·coun·te·nanc·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for discountenance


verb (tr)
  1. to make ashamed or confused
  2. to disapprove of
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  1. disapproval
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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 discountenance


"put to shame," 1570s, from Middle French descontenancer (16c.) "to abash," from des- (see dis-) + contenancer (see countenance).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper