[ skoul ]
See synonyms for: scowlscowledscowling on

verb (used without object)
  1. to draw down or contract the brows in a sullen, displeased, or angry manner.

  2. to have a gloomy or threatening look.

verb (used with object)
  1. to affect or express with a scowl.

  1. a scowling expression, look, or aspect.

Origin of scowl

1300–50; Middle English scoulen (v.); perhaps <Scandinavian; compare Danish skule to scowl, Norwegian skule to look furtively, though these may be <Low German schūlen to spy

Other words for scowl

Other words from scowl

  • scowler, noun
  • scowlful, adjective
  • scowl·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·scowl·ing, adjective
  • un·scowl·ing·ly, adverb

Words Nearby scowl Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scowl in a sentence

  • Look at him, how he scowls at you on your entering an inn-room; think how you scowl yourself to meet his scowl.

    Little Travels and Roadside Sketches | William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Two of the house-carles led him up, and his face had as black a scowl on it as I had ever seen, and he looked sullenly at us.

    A Prince of Cornwall | Charles W. Whistler
  • The juragan watched him suspiciously while the Dyak talked, but gradually his scowl faded.

    The Argus Pheasant | John Charles Beecham
  • Hall leaned over a little, putting out his hand in a warning gesture, drawing his dark brows in a scowl.

British Dictionary definitions for scowl


/ (skaʊl) /

  1. (intr) to contract the brows in a threatening or angry manner

  1. a gloomy or threatening expression

Origin of scowl

C14: probably from Scandinavian; compare Danish skule to look down, Old English scūlēgede squint-eyed

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