View Full Version : What does "furrowed eyebrows" mean?

05-09-2014, 11:22 PM
I've gotten myself confused while trying to describe a character's confused facial expression. I think that "furrowed brow" means wrinkles or creased lines on the forehead, but what does it mean exactly if someone has "furrowed eyebrows"? What does that look like? Are the eyebrows lowered? Are they scrunched together? Could they form a "V"?


05-09-2014, 11:27 PM
A furrow is a ditch for planting. A furrowed brow is the forehead--that's one's brow--with creases caused by raising the eyebrows (in worry or question), by bringing them together (anger, causing vertical furrows between the brows) or by age, when those furrows are the least of your worries.

I don't think you can furrow eyebrows themselves, only the brow above them.

Maryn, furrowed to hell and back

05-09-2014, 11:47 PM
I agree. 'Furrowed brows' is an over-used but easily understood term. 'Furrowed eyebrows' seems more like just a mistake.

05-10-2014, 12:08 AM
Sure furrowed eyebrows" is clearly a lazy rendering by someone who didn't think about the phrase much before naively transcribing it. On a par with "to all intensive purposes" and "a long road to hoe".

05-10-2014, 12:22 AM
Okay, thank you.
So would it be better if I wrote "she scrunched her eyebrows together" or that "her eyebrows formed a deep V"? It sounds a bit silly to write "eyebrows scrunched together," but would it be clearer and more easily understood?

05-10-2014, 12:30 AM
I think the issue might be focusing on the eyebrows, they are just hair on the skin which is really doing the action--and mostly do not actually move around very much.

05-10-2014, 12:33 AM
This is unanswerable because we don't know the character or the prose style, or the context in which this facial contortion is taking place. If it sounds right to you in context, then write it, if it sounds wrong, then come up with some other way to describe her expression or let her words speak for themselves.

But come to think of it probably this whole question shouldn't be in "story research" since it has nothing to do with expert knowledge.

05-10-2014, 01:31 AM
Okay, I've got it. Thanks.

05-10-2014, 05:17 AM
Agreed. You might get more luck with these kinds of questions in the Basic Writing Questions (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=175) thread.