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countenance

noun, verb

Definition: (n.) 1. facial features or the expression and appearance of someone's face; 2. self-control; 3. the human face; 4. formal approval; (v.) to give approval or permission to something

Synonyms: (n.) appearance, expression, mien, visage, composure, self-control, approval, sanction, encouragement, (v.) endorse, approve, abet

Antonyms: (v.) reject, disapprove, discourage, prohibit

Tips: Countenance can be used as general reference to a face, such as "noble countenance" or "malicious countenance." The "formal approval" definition of countenance is similar to consent. The verb form of countenance is also similar to condone, except condone refers to tolerating and overlooking negativity, whereas countenance refers to giving formal approval.

Usage Examples:

His policies countenance the involvement of the federal government in education. (sanction, endorse) verb

I couldn't tell from her countenance whether she was angry or just perplexed. (expression, mien) noun

I retained my countenance while my boss berated me in front of co-workers, but later I wrote my letter of resignation. (composure, self-control) noun

I gave my wife countenance to quit her job and follow her long-held dream of becoming a professional writer. (approval, encouragement) noun


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