\ 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

Salvini was quick to heap scorn on the apparently imminent birth of another Conte government with the 5-Stars as the senior partner. Washington Post, "Italy: 5-Stars’ activists OK deal for coalition of rivals," 4 Sep. 2019 There is one aspect of Swift’s depiction of life in London, however, that drew little scorn from her adoptive city dwellers. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "With “London Boy,” the English Delight in Some Fine Mockery of Taylor Swift," 26 Aug. 2019 Since then, the North has rained scorn on Mr. Moon. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "New North Korean Missile Comes With Angry Message to South Korea’s President," 26 July 2019 Several lawmakers have already heaped scorn on the arrangement. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "FTC fines Facebook $5 billion, imposes new privacy oversight," 24 July 2019 The scorn doesn’t always emanate from the student section. Ross Dellenger,, "Behind the Scenes as SEC Refs Get a Unique Primer at Georgia Camp," 22 Aug. 2019 Greenlanders, many of whom chafe at Danish rule, reacted with scorn to word last week that Trump was keenly interested in making an offer. Author: Felicia Sonmez, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump postpones Denmark trip after prime minister declines to sell him Greenland," 21 Aug. 2019 Idling school buses often attract the scorn of parents and students in Boston who worry about breathing in the potentially harmful fumes. James Vaznis,, "Environmental group sues to force Boston school buses to quit idling," 12 July 2019 For its steadfast radical critique, the American left once earned the dismissive scorn of centrists. Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy and Its Discontents," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The Democrats’ recent focus draws scorn from opponents on social media, often from Republicans who contend that candidates go too far in condemning America. Bill Lambrecht,, "Attacks on racism and Trump resonate for Texans Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro," 20 Aug. 2019 And in their failures, these projects expose a conundrum facing stories about female vengeance: Narratives about scorned women that try to double as examples of empowerment often edge into pandering territory. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Cheap Thrills of The Kitchen and Why Women Kill," 19 Aug. 2019 But the Trump administration continues to scorn even the most basic of environmental science. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Caring about cost of health care; A price too high to pay?; Make classrooms manageable (8/16/19)," 16 Aug. 2019 Veterans who returned home were often greeted by protests and scorn and then struggled to get medical care, housing and education support from the government. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "All the ways Robert Mueller was trashed by his fellow Republicans," 24 July 2019 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

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

13 Sep 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).


concealment of treason or felony

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