[ pout ]
/ paʊt /
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See synonyms for: pout / pouting on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
to protrude (the lips).
to utter with a pout.
the act of pouting; a protrusion of the lips.
a fit of sullenness: to be in a pout.
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Origin of pout

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English pouten; probably from Old Norse; compare Swedish dialect puta “to be inflated,” Norwegian (noun) “pute ”


poutful, adjectivepout·ing·ly, adverbun·pout·ing, adjectiveun·pout·ing·ly, adverb

Other definitions for pout (2 of 2)

[ pout ]
/ paʊt /

noun, plural (especially collectively) pout, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) pouts.
a northern marine food fish, Trisopterus luscus.

Origin of pout

First recorded before 1000; Old English -pūta, in ǣlepūta “eelpout” (not recorded in Middle English ); akin to Low German pūtāl and aalputte “eelpout,” Dutch puit “frog”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does pout mean?

To pout is to act in a gloomy and irritated way; to mope or sulk.

Children sometimes pout when they don’t get their way, often by sitting with their arms crossed and a specific look on their face: a kind of frown with the lips pushed out (sometimes just the bottom lip). This expression is also called a pout. The term is typically used in the context of young children, but it can be applied to adults in some situations.

Example: My toddler pouts when he doesn’t get his way, but I guess it’s better than throwing a tantrum.

Where does pout come from?

The first records of pout come from around 1300. It comes from the Middle English pouten, which is related to the Swedish puta, meaning “to be inflated.”

This is probably due to the fact that when you pout, you push your lips out and your mouth looks like it’s a little inflated. Children do this when they’re disappointed or upset. We commonly use the term for the expression for the behavior that goes along with it—refusing to talk, acting sullen, and maybe moaning or grunting. When we accuse an adult of pouting, we’re criticizing them for behaving in an immature and childish way (especially after not getting their way).

The pouty expression isn’t always used to express sullenness. Fashion models are known for using a pout when they’re being photographed since it’s supposedly an attractive look. An exaggerated version of this expression is called duckface, in which the lips are pushed out extra far in a way that’s compared to a duck’s bill.

Unrelatedly, pout is also a name for several different kinds of fish. When you make a fish face, it kind of looks like a pout, but that’s just a coincidence.

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What are some other forms related to pout?

  • pouty (adjective)
  • pouter (noun)

What are some synonyms for pout?

What are some words that often get used in discussing pout?


How is pout used in real life?

The word pout referring to sulking behavior is often used in relation to children or adults acting like children. The expression is used in the same context but is also applied to people sticking out their lips to look cute.



Try using pout!

Is pout used correctly in the following sentence? 

You pouted for a full hour after you heard that the concert was sold out.

How to use pout in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pout (1 of 2)

/ (paʊt) /

to thrust out (the lips), as when sullen, or (of the lips) to be thrust out
(intr) to swell out; protrude
(tr) to utter with a pout
(sometimes the pouts) a fit of sullenness
the act or state of pouting

Derived forms of pout

poutingly, adverbpouty, adjective

Word Origin for pout

C14: of uncertain origin; compare Swedish dialect puta inflated, Danish pude pillow

British Dictionary definitions for pout (2 of 2)

/ (paʊt) /

noun plural pout or pouts
short for horned pout, eelpout
any of various gadoid food fishes, esp the bib (also called whiting pout)
any of certain other stout-bodied fishes

Word Origin for pout

Old English -pūte as in ǣlepūte eelpout; related to Dutch puit frog
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