(To). To sanction, to support. Approval or disapproval is shown by the countenance. The Scripture speaks of “the light of God's countenance,” i.e. the smile of approbation, and to “hide His face” (or countenance) is to manifest displeasure.
“General Grant, neither at this time nor at any other, gave the least countenance to the efforts ...”
—Nicolay and Hay: Abraham Lincoln (vol. ix chap. ii. p. 51).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894