Definition of discountenance in English:



  • 1Refuse to approve of.

    ‘the best solution to alcohol abuse is a healthy family life where alcohol consumption is discountenanced’
    • ‘There are those who think that if all unfair practices were discountenanced it would add very much to the enjoyment of a country life.’
    • ‘The sources of the free men's anger converged in 1676 when Governor William Berkeley, fearing the outbreak of Indian war, discountenanced Bacon's plans to lead a frontier army against the Indians and refused him a commission.’
    • ‘As he is surely aware, the Code of Canon Law discountenances retroactive laws, especially when they impose burdens rather than grant favors.’
    • ‘First, it shows his consciousness that his "position" as a Senator of the United States demanded a prompt discountenance and denunciation of the treasonable scheme.’
    • ‘He proceeded to Ireland, where his ambitious schemes were distrusted and discountenanced by Elizabeth, then escaped to Spain, having been in treasonable correspondence with Philip II.’
    • ‘I believe that employers of labor will soon come generally to recognize the insidious effect of the poison upon their employees, and that ultimately they will discountenance its use - in the same way that they have discountenanced the use of alcohol.’
    • ‘Thus the ‘primary object’ of the organization would be ‘to discountenance and rebuke by moral and social influences, all disloyalty to the Federal Government.’’
    • ‘The party reiterated its stand that it "will continue to discountenance all illegal moves by a lame-duck Presidency and its sidekicks.’
    • ‘Therefore she discountenanced his going down to Bombay to get married.’
    • ‘They were ‘a community which discountenances the development of a just society predicated on principles of equality and fairness’, he said.’
    • ‘That is why a daring mission 63 years ago today - with strength and numbers that might have caused it to be discountenanced as a stunt - had such a powerful effect not only on Americans but also the Japanese leaders and people.’
    • ‘Why didn't it probe, even if only to discountenance the allegations?’
    • ‘In return, it was only in the nature of things that larger operations other than the main attack already planned should be discountenanced.’
    • ‘My own hands however shall be guiltless of blood, and I shall discountenance it so far as my authority extends, except under circumstances of aggression or in self defence ’.’
    • ‘A statement said the striking workers should discountenance the sack threat issued by the state government.’
    • ‘It was beset by the sort of problems evident in one British official's view of its purpose: to discountenance the use for political purposes of methods which all civilised opinion must condemn.’
    disapprove of, frown on, take a dim view of, be against, not believe in, object to, find unacceptable, think wrong
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  • 2Disturb the composure of.

    ‘Amanda was not discountenanced by the accusation’
    • ‘I was discountenanced, feeling a slow and steady anger rising, a free-floating anger, aimed at no one, no thing as yet.’
    • ‘When he yawned, took a book up, said he was hungry or simply went away, she was not discountenanced.’
    • ‘They were not discountenanced by the critical argument that a storyteller or a poet who has something to say does not need an artist to help him say it.’
    disconcert, discomfit, unsettle, nonplus, catch off balance, throw off balance, take aback, unnerve, disorient, perturb, disturb, perplex, confuse, bewilder, baffle, fluster, ruffle, shake, upset, agitate, worry, dismay, put out of countenance, discompose
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