1. Appearance, especially the expression of the face: The question left him with a puzzled countenance.
2. The face or facial features.
a. A look or expression indicative of encouragement or of moral support.
b. Support or approval.
4. Obsolete Bearing; demeanor.
tr.v. coun·te·nanced, coun·te·nanc·ing, coun·te·nanc·es
To give sanction or support to; tolerate or approve: The college administration will not countenance cheating.
[Middle English contenaunce, from Old French, from contenir, to behave; see CONTAIN.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.