countenance

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

Anglo-Norman, from Latin contineō (hold together).

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈkaʊn.tɪ.nəns/, /ˈkaʊn.tən.əns/
  • (file)

NounEdit

countenance (plural countenances)

  1. Appearance, especially the features and expression of the face.
  2. Favour; support; encouragement.
    • Bible, Psalms xxi. 6
      Thou hast made him [] glad with thy countenance.
    • Atterbury
      This is the magistrate's peculiar province, to give countenance to piety and virtue, and to rebuke vice.
  3. (obsolete) Superficial appearance; show; pretense.
    • Ascham
      The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.

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VerbEdit

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.
    • 1925, Franz Kafka, The Trial, 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 FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit

NounEdit

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

  1. 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.
Last modified on 7 April 2014, at 22:20