One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Scruffy and neglected in appearance.
scruffy, unkempt, untidy, sloppy, messy, dishevelled, slovenly, slatternly, bedraggled, down at heel, ill-dressed, badly dressed, dowdyView synonyms
- ‘A submissive orchestra dictated to by a spectacled man with frowsy hair and a dress suit, industriously followed the bobs of his head and the waves of his baton.’
- ‘Diaz is frowsy, whiny and has no chemistry with any other character.’
- ‘On a bench nearby a frowzy loafer opened his red eyes and perceived that his moral support was due a downtrodden brother.’
- ‘The rising moon, like Celia, appears to be frowzy, dirty, red and wrinkled.’
- ‘You know, that you are so frowzy that I simply cannot not hand you the money.’
- ‘Only the few spots held as cattle ranches under private ownership continue to look frowzy and wasted; but the condition of even these has been greatly improved under protection from the sheep scourge.’
- ‘Two rather frowsy saloon girls, adorned with feathers and too much paint, were leaning against the bar, half-asleep.’
- ‘On top was a frowzy cushion with what looked like an iron-on picture of a dragon.’
- ‘In 1905, Elbert Hubbard wrote in the Leavenworth Times of Kansas that ‘The girls at a Fred Harvey place never look dowdy, frowsy, tired, slipshod or overworked.’’
- ‘I don't know if dog and cat diabetes are handled similarly but one of my cats was losing weight, his coat was frowsy and he drank a lot of water and urinated a lot at once.’
- ‘Again I gave a civil evasion to the girl's trivial question, and as I did so her companion, looking over her frowzy pompadour, stared at me with insolent familiarity.’
- ‘During the course of his tale, an old lady enters the café and sits next to the frowzy storyteller.’
- ‘And don't get me started on the frowzy little strips of bunting that many business houses feel so fully demonstrates good corporate citizenship, or the contrived costuming of employees in the same pursuit.’
- ‘The lone exception is basketball, where the uniforms just hang down all unkempt and frowzy.’
- ‘A Tribune reporter insisted that ‘all the red-headed, cross-eyed and frowsy servant girls’ in the city turned out for the occasion.’
- 1.1 Dingy and stuffy.‘a frowzy nightclub’
dingy, gloomy, dull, drab, dark, badly lit, poorly lit, dimView synonyms
- ‘It's wonderful, the amount of litter they manage to accumulate in these frowsy little shops where the whole stock is worth about fifty quid.’
- ‘He had seen it lying in the window of a frowsy little junk-shop in a slummy quarter of the town (just what quarter he did not now remember) and had been stricken immediately by an overwhelming desire to possess it.’
Late 17th century (originally dialect): of unknown origin.
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