heavy countenance


Senior Member

Please what does "heavy countenance" mean?
I wonder if it's means "serious face" or "serious facial expression"

'I'm Mister Noah Claypole,' said the charity-boy, 'and you're under me. Take down the shutters, yer idle young ruffian!' With this, Mr. Claypole administered a kick to Oliver, and entered the shop with a dignified air, which did him great credit. It is difficult for a large-headed, small-eyed youth, of lumbering make and heavy countenance, to look dignified under any circumstances; but it is more especially so, when superadded to these personal attractions are a red nose and yellow smalls

Source: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Chapter 05
Thank you very much in advance
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I'm sorry to disagree with my countryman, but "heavy countenance" doesn't mean dull or stupid to me. Rather, it seems to me a visual description of his features (countenance means face); I would envision a broad face with a large nose, wide mouth, heavy-lidded eyes, thick eyebrows . . .
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