AskDefine | Define countenance

Dictionary Definition



1 the appearance conveyed by a person's face; "a pleasant countenance"; "a stern visage" [syn: visage]
2 formal and explicit approval; "a Democrat usually gets the union's endorsement" [syn: sanction, endorsement, indorsement, warrant, imprimatur]
3 the human face (`kisser' and `smiler' and `mug' are informal terms for `face' and `phiz' is British) [syn: physiognomy, phiz, visage, kisser, smiler, mug] v : consent to, give permission; "She permitted her son to visit her estranged husband"; "I won't let the police search her basement"; "I cannot allow you to see your exam" [syn: permit, allow, let] [ant: forbid, forbid]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ˈkaʊntənəns/


From contenere


  1. appearance, especially the features and expression of the face
    • , Genesis 4:5
      But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.





  1. To tolerate, support, sanction, patronise or approve of something.


to tolerate


Extensive Definition

Countenance may refer to:
  • Countenance divine, also called the divine countenance, a reference to the literal or metaphorical face of the Judeo-Christian God
  • Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, called Operation Countenance, the 1941 invasion of Iran by the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Buddha-like composure, OK, Oriental calm, abet, abetment, accept, acceptance, adherence, admiration, admire, advocacy, advocate, aegis, aid and abet, air, applaud, approbation, approval, approve, approve of, ask for, auspices, authority, authorization, back, backing, bear, bear with, bearing, bless, blessing, blink at, brook, brow, calm disposition, calm of mind, calmness, care, carriage, cast, cast of countenance, certification, champion, championship, charity, clearance, color, comfort, commend, complexion, composure, condone, connive at, cool, coolheadedness, coolness, demeanor, dial, easy mind, embolden, empowerment, enabling, encourage, encouragement, endorse, endorsement, endure, enfranchisement, entitlement, esteem, face, facial appearance, facies, favor, favorable vote, feature, features, feed, fiat, foster, fosterage, garb, give encouragement, go for, goodwill, grin and abide, guidance, guise, have, hear of, hearten, hold with, icy calm, imperturbation, indisturbance, indulge, interest, invite, keep in countenance, kisser, let go by, let pass, lineaments, lines, looks, map, mental composure, mien, mug, mush, nod, nourish, nurture, obey, overlook, pan, patronage, peace of mind, peacefulness, philosophic composure, philosophicalness, philosophy, phiz, physiognomy, placidity, port, posture, presence, puss, put up with, quiet, quiet mind, quietude, ratification, respect, rise above, sanction, sangfroid, seal of approval, seconding, serenity, shine upon, shrug, shrug it off, smile upon, soothingness, sponsorship, stamp of approval, stance, stand for, stomach, submit to, subscribe, suffer, support, sympathy, take kindly to, think well of, tolerate, traits, tranquillity, turn, tutelage, unruffledness, uphold, view with favor, visage, voice, vote, warrant, warranty, wink at, yea, yea vote, yield to
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