countenance

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English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Anglo-Norman countenance, from Old French, from the present participle of contenir, or from Late Latin continentia, and therefore a doublet of continence.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈkaʊn.tɪ.nəns/, /ˈkaʊn.tən.əns/, /ˈkaʊnt.nəns/
  • (General Australian) IPA(key): [kʲʰæũ̯.ʔɪ̆.nəns]
  • (file)
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

countenance (countable and uncountable, plural countenances)

  1. Appearance, especially the features and expression of the face.
  2. Favour; support; encouragement.
  3. (obsolete) Superficial appearance; show; pretense.
    • c. 1570, Roger Ascham, The Scholemaster
      The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.
  4. Calm facial expression, composure, self-control.

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Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

countenance (third-person singular simple present countenances, present participle countenancing, simple past and past participle countenanced)

  1. (transitive) To tolerate, support, sanction, patronise or approve of something.
    The cruel punishment was countenanced by the government, although it was not officially legal.
    • 1937, Willa Muir and Edwin Muir (translators), The Trial, (Der Prozess 1925, Franz Kafka), Vintage Books (London), pg. 99
      For the Defence was not actually countenanced by the Law, but only tolerated, and there were differences of opinion even on that point, whether the Law could be interpreted to admit such tolerances at all.

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Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From contenant, the present participle of contenir, with the suffix -ance, corresponding to Late Latin continentia. See also continence.

Noun[edit]

countenance f (oblique plural countenances, nominative singular countenance, nominative plural countenances)

  1. (Anglo-Norman) appearance; countenance
    • e moustre par contenance q'il ad honte de ceo q'il ad fet
      And he showed by his appearance that he was ashamed of what he had done.

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • English: countenance
  • French: contenance

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