One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Like an owl, especially in acting or appearing wise or solemn.‘he had an owlish and solemn air’
serious, earnest, grave, sober, sombre, unsmiling, poker-faced, stern, grim, dour, humourless, glum, gloomy, moody, stony-facedView synonyms
- ‘The owlish soldier takes off his helmet, holds out his hand.’
- ‘And if his features have recently seemed to take on a new youthfulness, his is still a face etched with experience, slowly hardening into the same benignly owlish countenance you see in photographs of his long-departed father, Jim.’
- ‘Physically, she brilliantly embodied the shrewd, sharp-eyed, owlish spinster, while also conveying her intuitive acumen and razor-sharp mind.’
- ‘From 1955 to 1963, he was Chairman of the National Bank, an Irish clearing bank, again confounding those who took his owlish, academic demeanour at face value.’
- ‘The owlish, quietly passionate woman stepped forward.’
- 1.1 (of eyeglasses) resembling the large round eyes of an owl.
- ‘Her eyes are huge, like something you would expect to see magnified behind thick owlish glasses, lovely and bright blue, the sapphire enhanced wonderfully by her ivory skin and dyed black bob.’
- ‘Close's self-portrait underlines this paradox, his owlish glasses reiterating that artist and audience are creatures who long to see clearly.’
- ‘At one stage he seemed to become almost as well-known for his flamboyant dress sense - the wide-brimmed hats, the peroxide hair, the big owlish glasses - as for his paintings.’
- ‘A scientist… the one who gave me my steroid shots, if I remember rightly… appeared, red-faced and out of breath, his owlish glasses askew on his wrinkled face.’
- ‘I was pulling a book from the shelf when I heard the tinkle of the bell over the door, and before I knew it, Matt's aunt was standing in front of me, peering up at me through her wide, owlish glasses.’
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