countenance

EnglishEdit

 
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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English contenaunce, countenaunce, from Anglo-Norman countenance and Old French contenance, from the present participle of contenir, or from Late Latin continentia, and therefore a doublet of continence.

PronunciationEdit

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

NounEdit

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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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.
    • 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 FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

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

NounEdit

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 termsEdit

DescendantsEdit

  • English: countenance
  • French: contenance

ReferencesEdit