scoff

1 of 3

noun

ˈskäf How to pronounce scoff (audio)
ˈskȯf
1
: an expression of scorn, derision, or contempt : gibe
2
: an object of scorn, mockery, or derision

scoff

2 of 3

verb (1)

scoffed; scoffing; scoffs

intransitive verb

: to show contempt by derisive acts or language
scoffed at the idea

transitive verb

: to treat or address with derision : mock
scoffer noun

scoff

3 of 3

verb (2)

scoffed; scoffing; scoffs

transitive verb

1
: to eat greedily
scoffed dinner
2
: seize
often used with up
scoffed up the free gifts

intransitive verb

: to eat something greedily
Choose the Right Synonym for scoff

scoff, jeer, gibe, fleer, sneer, flout mean to show one's contempt in derision or mockery.

scoff stresses insolence, disrespect, or incredulity as motivating the derision.

scoffed at their concerns

jeer suggests a coarser more undiscriminating derision.

the crowd jeered at the prisoners

gibe implies taunting either good-naturedly or in sarcastic derision.

hooted and gibed at the umpire

fleer suggests grinning or grimacing derisively.

the saucy jackanapes fleered at my credulity

sneer stresses insulting by contemptuous facial expression, phrasing, or tone of voice.

sneered at anything romantic

flout stresses contempt shown by refusal to heed.

flouted the conventions of polite society

Examples of scoff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In the past, when my friends and I were bold enough to ask that the television behind the bar be changed to a Wisconsin women's volleyball game, it was met by scoffs from a few Brewers fans who couldn't be bothered to turn their chairs to look at the two other TVs in the room. Hannah Kirby, Journal Sentinel, 2 Jan. 2024 As the ancient practice of yoga morphs to meet ever-shifting American tastes, Charlotte is embracing a new variation that might have drawn scoffs just a few years ago. Roland Wilkerson, Charlotte Observer, 30 Jan. 2024 That drew scoffs of laughter from the Democratic side of the aisle. Lisa Mascaro, Farnoush Amiri, Stephen Groves and Keving Freking The Associated Press, Arkansas Online, 21 Oct. 2023 Drescher’s trek to Puglia in southern Italy also drew scoffs from the management side of Hollywood’s bargaining table. William Earl, Variety, 10 July 2023 The Foundling he’s supposed to train against scoffs at him, telling Mando that Baby Yoda is too young. Erik Kain, Forbes, 26 Mar. 2023 The chief’s comments during Tuesday’s meeting drew scoffs from activists and residents in attendance. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2023 For months, the consistent response was a shrug or a scoff. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2023 Cosgrove told her son with a scoff, who then rolls his eyes and scoffs himself. Abigail Adams, PEOPLE.com, 1 Apr. 2022
Verb
Global investors scoffed at its attempt to start that process of hiking rates on March 19; the yen is even weaker today. William Pesek, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 The rap king’s coronation route can go many directions, but both men likely scoff at the idea of the other’s approach being the most sensible one — as do their fanbases. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 27 Mar. 2024 Russo’s Israeli interlocutor scoffed at the claim, suggesting anger at Israel is more prevalent online and on social media platforms such as TikTok than in the real world, according to the memo. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2024 Varadkar’s steady leadership during the pandemic was not something to be scoffed at, Murphy added. Niamh Kennedy, CNN, 24 Mar. 2024 While many performers have championed the role, others have scoffed at it in recent years. Zack Sharf, Variety, 5 Mar. 2024 Others scoffed — since when arepostcards cooler than baseball? Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 Many scoffed at Jardine’s provisions and questioned whether the $1.6 million commitment could be considered a bribe. Shawn Raymundo, The Arizona Republic, 20 Mar. 2024 But of course, other observers scoffed: These things weren’t even that big. Jonah Weiner, New York Times, 3 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scoff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English scof, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to obsolete Danish skof jest; akin to Old Frisian skof mockery

Verb (2)

alteration of dialect scaff to eat greedily

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Verb (2)

1846, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of scoff was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near scoff

Cite this Entry

“Scoff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scoff. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

scoff

1 of 3 noun
ˈskäf How to pronounce scoff (audio)
ˈskȯf
: an expression of scorn or mockery

scoff

2 of 3 verb
scoffer noun

scoff

3 of 3 verb
1
: to eat greedily
scoffed dinner
2
: snatch entry 1 sense 2
scoffed up the free gifts

More from Merriam-Webster on scoff

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