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noun \ˈskȯrn\

Simple Definition of scorn

  • : a feeling that someone or something is not worthy of any respect or approval

  • : harsh criticism that shows a lack of respect or approval for someone or something

Full Definition of scorn

  1. 1 :  open dislike and disrespect or derision often mixed with indignation

  2. 2 :  an expression of contempt or derision

  3. 3 :  an object of extreme disdain, contempt, or derision :  something contemptible

Examples of scorn

  1. Unlike government censorship, this corruption eats at one of China's more beleaguered professions from within its ranks. The trading of favors for cash is so prevalent that, like the honest cop in a corrupt police unit, an ethical journalist risks the scorn of colleagues. —Gady A. Epstein, Forbes, 21 July 2008

  2. He burns with generous indignation at the scorn with which many literary critics have treated Tolkien, and his subtitle, “author of the Century,” is meant to provoke. But provocation is only one of his purposes. —Richard Jenkyns, New Republic, 28 Jan. 2002

  3. Claiming their inalienable rights as teenagers, the two exercise an unmitigated scorn for all adults in the immediate vicinity … —B. Ruby Rich, Nation, 3 & 10 Sept. 2001

  4. They treated his suggestion with scorn.

  5. an expression full of scorn

  6. Her political rivals have poured scorn on her ideas for improving the tax system.

Origin of scorn

Middle English, from Anglo-French escharne, escar, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German scern jest

First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with scorn



verb \ˈskȯrn\

Simple Definition of scorn

  • : to show that you think (someone or something) is not worthy of respect or approval : to feel or express scorn for (someone or something)

  • : to refuse or reject (someone or something that you do not think is worthy of respect or approval)

Full Definition of scorn

  • transitive verb
    1. :  to treat with scorn (see 1scorn):  reject or dismiss as contemptible or unworthy <scorned local traditions> <scorned to reply to the charge>

    2. intransitive verb
    3. :  to show disdain or derision :  scoff

    scorn·er noun

    Examples of scorn

    1. My parents scorned packaged and ready-made foods. It did not matter that, at the time, our hometown was a test-market capital for these sorts of food products; my father still thought that convenience food was a Communist plot, and my mother insisted that only trashy people failed to practice a separation of food groups. —Molly O'Neill, Vogue, January 2007

    2. A union member and activist since age 15, bound for an academic career at Cornell and NYU, Fitch, now past 65, writes like a lover scorned. —Rob Long, National Review, 13 Feb. 2006

    3. Stung by attacks on his new Excursion—a 12.5-m.p.g. guzzler dubbed “Ford Valdez” by critics—he has expressed fears that auto companies could be scorned like tobacco companies if they don't clean up their act. Similarly, GM has sought to position itself as the greenest car company, beginning in 1996 when it launched the nation's first modern, mass-produced electric car, the EV-1. —Margot Roosevelt, Time, 14 Aug. 2000

    4. He scorns anyone who earns less money than he does.

    5. Her actions were scorned by many people.

    6. They were scorned as fanatics.

    Origin of scorn

    (see 1scorn)

    First Known Use: 13th century

    Synonym Discussion of scorn

    despise, contemn, scorn, disdain mean to regard as unworthy of one's notice or consideration. despise may suggest an emotional response ranging from strong dislike to loathing <despises cowards>. contemn implies a vehement condemnation of a person or thing as low, vile, feeble, or ignominious <contemns the image of women promoted by advertisers>. scorn implies a ready or indignant contempt <scorns the very thought of retirement>. disdain implies an arrogant or supercilious aversion to what is regarded as unworthy <disdained popular music>.

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    February 6, 2016

    an official order, decree, or edict

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