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From Middle English frouncen, from Old French froncir "to wrinkle, frown", from Frankish *hrunkja "a wrinkle" from Proto-Germanic *hrunkijō, *hrunkitō (fold, wrinkle), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to turn, bend). Akin to Old High German runza "fold, wrinkle, crease" (German Runzel "wrinkle"), Middle Dutch ronse "frown", Old Norse hrukka "wrinkle, crease" (Icelandic hrukka "wrinkle, crease, ruck"). More at ruck2.



frounce (plural frounces)

  1. A canker in the mouth of a hawk.
  2. A plait or curl.



frounce (third-person singular simple present frounces, present participle frouncing, simple past and past participle frounced)

  1. (rare) To curl.
    • 1879, Harmon Seeley Babcock, "The Peanut Man", in Trifles, Providence Press Company (1879), page 43:
      Beard untrimmed by barber's shears,
      Hair all frouncing 'bout his ears,
    • 1887, Julian Corbett, For God and Gold, Macmillan and Co (1887), page 214:
      As though to give him a warlike note, his clothes were thrown on in a slovenly way, and his moustache frounced out so shock and bristling that it seemed from each hair-end a crackling oath must start with every word he said.
    • 1888, Charles M. Doughty, Travels in Arabia Deserta, Volume 1, Cambridge (1888), page 498:
      Under the day-long beating of the sun their brow is frounced out, []
    • 1983, Carolly Erickson, The First Elizabeth, St. Martin's Griffin (1997), ↑ISBN, page 307:
      The unruly, shoulder-length hair of the redeemed made a strong contrast to the well-tended coiffures of fashionable men, who "frounced their hair with curling irons" and wore long "love locks" tied with ribbons or silk favors.
    • 2012, Carolyn Meyer, The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots, Harcourt (2012), ↑ISBN, page 107:
      My hairdresser stopped coming. Fortunately, my friend Seton had always enjoyed frouncing my hair, and she readily took up the responsibility, fixing my hair in a different style every day.
  2. (rare) To crease, wrinkle, to frown.
    • 1871, George Mac-Henry, Time and Eternity: A Poem, A L Bancroft and Company (1871), page 42:
      He frounced his brow, and from his scornful eye
      Shot wrath indignant, and disdain and pride,
    • 1885, "The Old Corner Shop: A Story of Very Poor Humanity", The Phrenological Magazine, December 1885:
      Mury, however, frounced her brows, and made Sir Tyke Winchap's niece a profound courtesy behind her back.
    • 2000, Patrick Madden, "Down on Batlle's Farm", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Volume 33, Number 2, Summer 2000, page 160:
      "But they know who you are?" I asked, and frounced my brow in skeptical doubt.
  3. To gather into or adorn with plaits, as a dress.