[ 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scowl in a sentence

  • William Weedham brought scowling eyes to focus upon Kip Burland.

  • At sight of Marius, who stood arrested, scowling villainously upon the pair, the fire died suddenly from his glance.

    St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
  • Presently he drove away, leaving Mr. Bowman on the veranda of the hotel, scowling and uttering words of strength and meaning.

    Scattergood Baines | Clarence Budington Kelland
  • He looked up into Blake's flushed and scowling face with the sweetest and most innocent of smiles.

    Mistress Wilding | Rafael Sabatini
  • He pulled his heavy sweater down off a nail and put it on, scowling because the sleeves had to be pulled in place on his arms.

    Cabin Fever | B. M. Bower

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