• synonyms


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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to affect or express with a scowl.
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  1. a scowling expression, look, or aspect.
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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
Related formsscowl·er, nounscowl·ful, adjectivescowl·ing·ly, adverbun·scowl·ing, adjectiveun·scowl·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for scowl

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scowler

Historical Examples of scowler

  • Scowler was obliged to own that Mr. Newcome had considerable talent, and a good knack at catching a likeness.

    The Newcomes

    William Makepeace Thackeray

British Dictionary definitions for scowler


  1. a person who scowls
  2. Northern English dialect a hooligan
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  1. (intr) to contract the brows in a threatening or angry manner
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  1. a gloomy or threatening expression
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Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for scowler



mid-14c., from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian skule "look furtively, squint, look embarrassed," Danish skule "to scowl, cast down the eyes"). Probably related to Old English sceolh "wry, oblique," Old High German scelah "curved," German scheel "squint-eyed;" from PIE root *sqel- "crooked, curved, bent." Related: Scowled; scowling.

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c.1500, from scowl (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper