From French moue, from Old French moe (grimace), from Frankish *mauwa (pout, protruding lip). Compare mow (grimace).


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moue (plural moues)

  1. A pout, especially as expressing mock-annoyance or flirtatiousness. [from 19th c.]
    • 1913, Jack London, The Valley of the Moon:
      She glanced aside to the rim of the looking-glass where his photograph was wedged, shuddered, and made a moue of distaste.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter VIII:
      She made what I believe, though I wouldn't swear to it, is called a moue. Putting the lips together and shoving them out, if you know what I mean. The impression I got was that she was disappointed in Bertram, having expected better things [...].
    • 2011, Hadley Freeman, The Guardian, 2 Feb 2011:
      Why do you wear European clothes?" fumed Oscar de la Renta with a moue of disapproval and stamp of his bejewelled foot (probably).

Usage notesEdit

Often used in the phrase “make a moue”, influenced by French “faire la moue”, meaning “to pout”.


External linksEdit

  • moue”, April 04, 2009 Word of the Day, Merriam-Webster



Middle French moue, from Old French moe (grimace), from Frankish *mauwa (pout, protruding lip). Akin to Middle Dutch mouwe (protruding lip).



moue f (plural moues)

  1. pout, moue

Derived termsEdit

Last modified on 8 October 2013, at 10:12