coun·te·nance /ˈkaʊntṇən(t)s, ˈkaʊntnən(t)s/
1. Appearance or expression of the face; look; aspect; mien.
So spake the Son, and into terror changed
His countenance. --Milton.
2. The face; the features.
In countenance somewhat doth resemble you. --Shak.
3. Approving or encouraging aspect of face; hence, favor, good will, support; aid; encouragement.
Thou hast made him . . . glad with thy countenance. --Ps. xxi. 6.
This is the magistrate's peculiar province, to give countenance to piety and virtue, and to rebuke vice. --Atterbury.
4. Superficial appearance; show; pretense. [Obs.]
The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat. --Ascham.
In countenance, in an assured condition or aspect; free from shame or dismay. “It puts the learned in countenance, and gives them a place among the fashionable part of mankind.” --Addison.
Out of countenance, not bold or assured; confounded; abashed. “Their best friends were out of countenance, because they found that the imputations . . . were well grounded.” --Clarendon.
To keep the countenance, to preserve a composed or natural look, undisturbed by passion or emotion. --Swift.
Coun·te·nance v. t. [imp. & p. p. Countenanced p. pr. & vb. n. Countenancing.]
1. To encourage; to favor; to approve; to aid; to abet.
This conceit, though countenanced by learned men, is not made out either by experience or reason. --Sir T. Browne.
Error supports custom, custom countenances error. --Milton.
2. To make a show of; to pretend. [Obs.]
Which to these ladies love did countenance. --Spenser.
n 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,
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]