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.] 1.
Appearance or expression of the face; look; aspect;
So spake the Son, and into terror changed
2. The face; the features.
In countenance somewhat doth resemble
3. Approving or encouraging aspect of
face; hence, favor, good will, support; aid;
Thou hast made him . . . glad with thy
Ps. xxi. 6.
This is the magistrate's peculiar province, to
give countenance to piety and virtue, and to rebuke
4. Superficial appearance; show;
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.
Coun"te*nance (koun"t?-nans), v.
t. [imp. & p. p. Countenanced
(-nanst); p. pr. & vb. n.
Countenancing.] 1. 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
2. To make a show of; to pretend.
Which to these ladies love did