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adjective, frowst·i·er, frowst·i·est. British Informal.
  1. musty; ill-smelling.
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Origin of frowsty

First recorded in 1860–65; perhaps dialectal variant of frowzy
Related formsfrowst·i·ly, adverbfrowst·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for frowsty

damp, fetid, malodorous, musty, rank, stagnant, stale, stuffy, frowsty, stinky

Examples from the Web for frowsty

Historical Examples of frowsty

  • He went up to the frowsty study-bedroom, and sat down at his table.

    If Winter Don't

    Barry Pain

  • She opened the back door, and he followed her into the frowsty passage.

    Sinister Street, vol. 2

    Compton Mackenzie

  • Our goods must never get into a "frowsty," shop-damaged state.

  • For there are frowsty children, just as there are frowsty adults, who dont want freedom.

  • "Really, my frowsty old Camembert, don't ask us to believe that they had all overlooked it," expostulated Frederick.

British Dictionary definitions for frowsty


adjective -stier or -stiest
  1. ill-smelling; stale; musty
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Derived Formsfrowstiness, noun
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 frowsty


"having an unpleasant smell," 1865, of unknown origin; perhaps related to Old French frouste "ruinous, decayed," or to Old English þroh "rancid;" both of which also are of uncertain origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper