\ ˈskȯrn How to pronounce scorn (audio) \

Definition of scorn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : open dislike and disrespect or mockery often mixed with indignation
2 : an expression of contempt or derision
3 : an object of extreme disdain, contempt, or derision : something contemptible


\ ˈskȯrn How to pronounce scorn (audio) \
scorned; scorning; scorns

Definition of scorn (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to treat with scorn : reject or dismiss as contemptible or unworthy scorned local traditions scorned to reply to the charge

intransitive verb

: to show disdain or derision : scoff

Other Words from scorn


scorner noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of scorn in a Sentence

Noun 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 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 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 They treated his suggestion with scorn. an expression full of scorn Her political rivals have poured scorn on her ideas for improving the tax system. Verb 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 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 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 He scorns anyone who earns less money than he does. Her actions were scorned by many people. They were scorned as fanatics. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Inside Twitter, that has confirmed some employees’ fears that Musk would use his bully pulpit to subject them to public scorn and harassment, rather than meeting with them privately as any worker might hope a boss would do. Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2022 Inside Twitter, that has confirmed some employees’ fears that Musk as owner would subject them to public scorn and harassment, rather than meeting with them privately, as any worker might hope a boss would do. Will Oremus, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Apr. 2022 There is no doubt that transgender athletes such as Thomas have shown tremendous courage in the face of ridicule, scorn and discrimination. Paul Newberry, ajc, 18 Mar. 2022 Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has drawn international scorn and crippling economic sanctions for Russia. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 1 Mar. 2022 Marks’ husband, Seth, has become the object of scorn and derision because of his tawdry sense of humor. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Feb. 2022 But the drama is a kind of sketch assemblage, in which the main thrust isn’t an arc or a plot mechanism but a tone of rage and scorn. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2022 Their participation draws the scorn of Trump, still the dominant personality in the GOP and its possible presidential nominee in 2024., 14 Feb. 2022 The scorn of social media users was focused on the lead anecdote of a Friday New York Times article about food inflation: A Hinsdale stock trader voiced his annoyance with an increase in Chipotle’s burrito price. Chicago Tribune Staff,, 25 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While the amounts at issue elicit scorn from fans who might otherwise root for labor, the union’s aim of more compensation for the bottom half of its constituency is fair enough. Nr Editors, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 For two days, social media users in China have been heaping scorn onto Beverly Zhu, a 19-year-old figure skater who was born and raised in the United States but competes for China under the name Zhu Yi. New York Times, 7 Feb. 2022 Romney’s decision to stray from the party line in opposition to Jackson earned him scorn from fellow Republicans. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 Centuries before Twitter, snarky indexes conveyed their makers’ scorn. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Mar. 2022 But such mindless arrogance is everywhere — including the WNBA, where a good-hearted episode was met with hatred and scorn. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Mar. 2022 In Thomas’s story, young Debbie expressed scorn for Beatles fans who screamed nonstop during concerts. Globe Staff,, 3 Mar. 2022 Thomas drifted away from Christianity but retained Calvinism’s dim view of human nature and his parents’ scorn for polite establishmentarianism of all kinds. Barton Swaim, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 Popular and social media quickly ignited, with an outpouring of both praise and scorn for Osaka from around the globe. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scorn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of scorn


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for scorn

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for scorn

Time Traveler

The first known use of scorn was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for scorn


\ ˈskȯrn How to pronounce scorn (audio) \

Kids Definition of scorn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a strong feeling of disgust and anger I have nothing but scorn for cheaters.
2 : an expression of disgust and anger They poured scorn on the idea.


scorned; scorning

Kids Definition of scorn (Entry 2 of 2)

: to show disgust and anger for

More from Merriam-Webster on scorn

Nglish: Translation of scorn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scorn for Arabic Speakers


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