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From Old French frognier(to frown or scowl), from Gaulish *frognā(nostril), from Proto-Celtic *srognā.


frown (plural frowns)

A frowning emoji
  1. A facial expression in which the eyebrows are brought together, and the forehead is wrinkled, usually indicating displeasure, sadness or worry, or less often confusion or concentration.
    • 1873, Charles Darwin, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals[1], page 223:
      He encounters some obstacle in his train of reasoning ... and then a frown passes like a shadow over his brow.
  1. A facial expression in which the corners of the mouth are pointed down.
    • 1911 December 1, “Facial Expression Electric Sign”, in Popular Electricity[2], volume iv, Chicago, page 714:
      The smile and the frown are both indicated and the operation of a motor driven flasher causes the face to look happy and sad in turn.

Derived terms[edit]



frown (third-person singular simple present frowns, present participle frowning, simple past and past participle frowned)

  1. (intransitive) To have a frown on one's face.
    She frowned when I told her the news.
  2. (intransitive) To manifest displeasure or disapprobation; to look with disfavour or threateningly.
    Noisy gossip in the library is frowned upon.
    • Shakespeare
      The sky doth frown and lower upon our army.
  3. (transitive) To repress or repel by expressing displeasure or disapproval; to rebuke with a look.
    Let us frown the impudent fellow into silence.
  4. (transitive) To communicate by frowning.
    Frank frowned his displeasure with my proposal.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.




  1. Soft mutation of brown.


Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
brown frown mrown unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.