Why was clemency trending last week?


[froun] /fraʊn/
verb (used without object)
to contract the brow, as in displeasure or deep thought; scowl.
to look displeased; have an angry look.
to view with disapproval; look disapprovingly (usually followed by on or upon):
to frown upon a scheme.
verb (used with object)
to express by a frown:
to frown one's displeasure.
to force or shame with a disapproving frown:
to frown someone into silence.
a frowning look; scowl.
any expression or show of disapproval:
a tax bill that received Congressional frowns.
Origin of frown
1350-1400; Middle English frounen < Old French froignier, derivative of froigne surly expression, probably < Gaulish *frognā; compare Welsh ffroen, Old Breton fron nostril, Old Irish srón nose < Celtic *srognā or *sroknā
Related forms
frowner, noun
frowningly, adverb
half-frowning, adjective
half-frowningly, adverb
unfrowning, adjective
1. glower, lower, gloom. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for frown
  • Here's the lovely moment, with frown in the lower left.
  • They frown against discipline, they don't say it to me directly, but they make comments about her being tortured again.
  • The receptionists tend to frown on noise and loitering, though, so carefully make your way to the maternity waiting room.
  • The treatment decreases the ability to frown or squint and may cause the corners of the mouth to turn down.
  • In the feudal culture of the party, a mere smile or frown from her matters.
  • So the next time you find yourself sympathizing with someone who looks sad, thank the part of your brain that feels you frown.
  • The wide-angle lenses would record every twitch, every blink, every frown.
  • Some companies frown upon their top executives getting too entrenched in politics.
  • Some of my peers may frown on this, but my research and teaching haven't suffered.
  • He is said to frown on torture as a method of interrogation.
British Dictionary definitions for frown


(intransitive) to draw the brows together and wrinkle the forehead, esp in worry, anger, or concentration
(intransitive; foll by on or upon) to have a dislike (of); look disapprovingly (upon): the club frowned upon political activity by its members
(transitive) to express (worry, etc) by frowning
(transitive) often foll by down. to force, silence, etc, by a frowning look
the act of frowning
a show of dislike or displeasure
Derived Forms
frowner, noun
frowningly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French froigner, of Celtic origin; compare Welsh ffroen nostril, Middle Breton froan
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
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Word Origin and History for frown

late 14c., from Old French frognier "to frown or scowl, snort, turn one's nose up," related to froigne "scowling look," probably from Gaulish *frogna "nostril" (cf. Welsh ffroen "nose"), with a sense of "snort," or perhaps "haughty grimace." Related: Frowned; frowning.


1580s, from frown (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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