\ 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

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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


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.


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Text messages also show Eudaly’s policy director, Jamey Duhamel, made plain her scorn for neighborhood associations, casting them as dominated by rich white people clueless about their misguided sense of entitlement., "Eudaly, staffers bungled efforts to change Portland neighborhood association rules, emails show," 9 Aug. 2019 Defense Secretary James Mattis openly favored the U.S. remaining in the deal, and Mattis is one of the few people working for Trump who hasn’t earned his scorn, but other forces were pulling at Trump harder. Elizabeth Drew, The New Republic, "America Gets it Wrong on Iran—Again," 11 May 2018 Those who find the courage to speak out are often met with stigmatisation and scorn. Fakhrriyyah Hashim, Quartz Africa, "How Nigeria’s conservative northern region came to terms with its MeToo movement," 22 July 2019 Berkeley leaders voted unanimously this week to replace about 40 gender-specific words in the city code with gender-neutral terms — an effort to be more inclusive that is drawing both praise and scorn. Washington Post, "Fires cause power outages for more than 11,000 Wisconsin customers," 20 July 2019 Get our daily newsletter Many in the opposition scorn talks, after three attempts since 2014 that Mr Maduro used merely to buy time and sow division. The Economist, "A faint hope for Venezuela," 18 July 2019 Plans for the raids in June drew widespread scorn among immigration rights advocates and mayors in the impacted cities. Loyd Brumfield, Dallas News, "Nationwide ICE raids planned for Sunday, New York Times reports," 11 July 2019 The new way of interacting with computers was met with scorn, but that was less about the concept than the possibilities and execution. Rani Molla, Recode, "Voice tech like Alexa and Siri hasn’t found its true calling yet: Inside the voice assistant ‘revolution’," 12 Nov. 2018 Pundits’ scorn for Zeffirelli’s politics outdid their disdain for his charismatic movies, which combined classical art and personal sexuality with traditional spirituality. Armond White, National Review, "Franco Zeffirelli: Unlikely Conservative Hero," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some said a clear majority favored the proposal but stayed silent to avoid being exposed to scorn in news or social media. Krista Torralva,, "After backlash, San Antonio-area school district shelves proposal to arm teachers," 11 Aug. 2019 They are assumed to have scorned personal glory and lived only for service to the city-state, despite the fact that famous Spartans commissioned poetry, statues, and even festivals in their own honor and deliberately built cults of personality. Myke Cole, The New Republic, "The Sparta Fetish Is a Cultural Cancer," 1 Aug. 2019 But our Fire were whipped, slapped, folded, shamed and scorned by a minor league team, St. Louis FC, by a score of 2-1. John Kass,, "The loneliness of the Chicago Fire fan," 14 June 2019 In between ranting about Fashion Nova knocking off her Mugler dress and misquoting the City Girls to defend scorned sister Khloé Kardashian, Kanye West's wife decided to take legal action against Missguided. Channing Hargrove,, "Kim Kardashian Won $2.7 Million From Suing Missguided For Knockoffs," 5 July 2019 There are fewer competent civil servants, there is less transparency, less public information and the president scorns official information, says María Amparo Casar of CIDE, a university. The Economist, "AMLO’s populism is both rampant and constrained," 4 July 2019 Watching the world open its heart and pockets to restore Notre Dame while people ignore the Palestinian-Israeli divide and rising white supremacy in America scorns the heart. Jeneé Osterheldt,, "American beauty: Young, Muslim and female," 3 July 2019 Meanwhile, the Confederates cited the Declaration in asserting their right to secede, but scorned the language of equality. Washington Post, "Declaration of Independence still inspires activists," 1 July 2019 There is no such thing as a perfect revolutionary; those who criticize her are quick to note that Goldman was willing to engage with liberals, progressives, and trade unionists as well as the intelligentsia in ways that many of her comrades scorned. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Emma Goldman, One of History’s Best-Known Anarchists, Was Born 150 Years Ago," 27 June 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for scorn

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for scorn

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

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More Definitions for scorn



English Language Learners Definition of scorn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of scorn (Entry 2 of 2)

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


\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on scorn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scorn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scorn

Spanish Central: Translation of scorn

Nglish: Translation of scorn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scorn for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scorn

What made you want to look up scorn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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