\ 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

Amusement percolates as Bernadette dissembles, expresses scorn for others and otherwise acts out in her specific upper-class environment. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Where'd You Go, Bernadette': Film Review," 15 Aug. 2019 Two centuries in two innings from Smith helped lay the foundations for this Australia win, its first at Edgbaston since 2001, and simultaneously silenced those who had poured scorn upon him from the stands. James Masters, CNN, "The Ashes: Steve Smith 'probably the best Test batsman we've ever seen' as Australia crushes England in opener," 5 Aug. 2019 The bureau found no other evidence that the shakes contained any concrete material, receiving scorn for publicizing such information., "Police lieutenant ‘firmly believed’ milkshakes thrown during June protest ‘contained some form of concrete’," 22 July 2019 Russian scorn for liberal democracy has a long history, and a certain kind of Russian disdain for the West is nothing new. Anne Applebaum, Twin Cities, "Anne Applebaum: Putin’s attack on Western values was familiar. The American reaction was not.," 3 July 2019 The Moscow Patriarchate, which hews close to the presidency of Vladimir Putin and at times defends it from popular protest, regularly pours scorn on its counterpart in Istanbul for acting as a stooge of American diplomacy. Erasmus, The Economist, "The gift of overcoming barriers eludes the world’s Orthodox Christians," 15 June 2019 While Benitez would surely have reservations about returning, Chelsea's fanbase would most definitely oppose his appointment; pouring further scorn on any suggestion that the Blues board would approach him., "Rafa Benitez Bizarrely Linked With Chelsea Return as Maurizio Sarri Nears Juventus Switch," 11 June 2019 German role models shouldn’t link arms with a foreign politician who pours scorn on Germany. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "A Toxic Turkish Photo-Op," 29 July 2018 But this neglect soon turned into scorn, characterized by comments from the new secretary, Ryan Zinke, that the staff were disloyal. Oliver Milman, Scientific American, "The Silenced: Meet the Climate Whistle-Blowers Muzzled by the Trump Administration," 17 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This collaboration could only have come from Malone, who today, inspires confusion and scorn the same way as Osbourne did in his heyday. Meagan Fredette,, "There Is One Song On The New Post Malone Album That Is Blowing Minds," 6 Sep. 2019 New England, which lacks an experienced backup for Brady, has been rumored as a possibility, but would President Donald Trump’s favorite team actually take a shot on a player Trump has so thoroughly scorned? Carl Steward, The Mercury News, "13 questions the 2019 NFL season will answer, from the Browns to Mahomes," 4 Sep. 2019 The offseason had none of the contempt and scorn once heaped onto a program reveling in the most successful season in its history. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Next two weeks against Stanford, Pittsburgh could put No. 16 Central Florida back in spotlight," 8 Sep. 2019 The Bulldogs were scorned, some believed, and felt a trip to New Orleans was beneath them after winning 11 games and pushing Alabama to the brink in the SEC championship game. Nick Moyle,, "Longhorns’ Sugar Bowl win important step on path to creating sustained success," 18 July 2019 She was congratulated widely but scorned in the national press. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Depth of Field: Alex Morgan and the Politics of Women in Celebration," 4 July 2019 These discoveries speak to a remarkable flexibility on the part of the brain and body and suggest that biological variability should be celebrated rather than scorned. Tom Roseberry, Scientific American, "Studying the Superhuman," 4 Sep. 2019 Yet here was Herbstreit, being paid for his presence, scorning spectators with places to go, traffic to fight, babysitters to relieve, sleep to catch. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Kirk Herbstreit should blame ESPN for Louisville fans leaving the Notre Dame game early," 3 Sep. 2019 More broadly, too much is lost if legislative politics, as practiced in Washington, is simply scorned. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "The Urgency of the 2020 Senate Race," 1 Sep. 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

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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