[dis-koun-tn-uh ns]

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

to disconcert, embarrass, or abash: With his composure, he survived every attempt to discountenance him.
to show disapproval of: The teachers discountenanced smoking by the students.


disapproval; disapprobation.

Origin of discountenance

First recorded in 1570–80; dis-1 + countenance
Related formsdis·coun·te·nanc·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for discountenance

Historical Examples of discountenance

British Dictionary definitions for discountenance


verb (tr)

to make ashamed or confused
to disapprove of


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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper