To keep the countenance
Countenance Coun"te*nance (koun"t[-e]*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}.] 1. Appearance or expression of the face; look; aspect; mien. [1913 Webster]

So spake the Son, and into terror changed His countenance. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. The face; the features. [1913 Webster]

In countenance somewhat doth resemble you. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Approving or encouraging aspect of face; hence, favor, good will, support; aid; encouragement. [1913 Webster]

Thou hast made him . . . glad with thy countenance. --Ps. xxi. 6. [1913 Webster]

This is the magistrate's peculiar province, to give countenance to piety and virtue, and to rebuke vice. --Atterbury. [1913 Webster]

4. Superficial appearance; show; pretense. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat. --Ascham. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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