Coun"te*nance (koun"tE*nans), n. [OE. contenance, countenaunce, demeanor, composure, F. contenance demeanor, fr. L. continentia continence, LL. also, demeanor, fr. L. continere to hold together, repress, contain. See Contain, and cf. Continence.]


Appearance or expression of the face; look; aspect; mien.

So spake the Son, and into terror changed
His countenance.


The face; the features.

In countenance somewhat doth resemble you.


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.


Superficial appearance; show; pretense. [Obs.]

The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.

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.


© Webster 1913

Coun"te*nance (koun"t?-nans), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Countenanced (-nanst); p. pr. & vb. n. Countenancing.]


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.


To make a show of; to pretend. [Obs.]

Which to these ladies love did countenance.


© Webster 1913

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