beetle-browed

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having bushy dark and messy eyebrows; frowning; unfriendly in appearance
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This expression is very old - first recorded in William Langland's The vision of William concerning Piers Plowman, 1362: "He was bitel-brouwed..."What was meant by the term at that date is a matter of conjecture. In the 14th century there were two meanings of the noun beetle, or bitel as it was then spelled: either the insect, or a heavy-headed wooden implement used for driving in pegs etc, i.e. a mallet.

Submitted on March 22, 2013

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to beetle-browed

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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    "beetle-browed." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 29 Nov. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/beetle-browed_9654>.

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