scorn·​ful ˈskȯrn-fəl How to pronounce scornful (audio)
: full of scorn : contemptuous
scornfully adverb
scornfulness noun

Examples of scornful in a Sentence

He's scornful of anyone who disagrees with his political beliefs. the actress gave the paparazzi a scornful glare before breezing on by them
Recent Examples on the Web Her efforts to introduce the issues of income inequality, mass shootings, and race prompted scornful reactions online. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2023 As mayor, Riordan gained a national reputation as an affable municipal leader who was scornful of government bureaucracy. CBS News, 20 Apr. 2023 Not only does his character, novelist John Henderson, have my last name; his mother, played by Debbie Reynolds, is scornful about his writing career. Odie Henderson,, 10 May 2023 And what Beau fears most of all is the possibility — nay, the inevitability — that his most shameful thoughts will be exposed for all to see, including his true feelings about the mother whose scornful judgment and smothering affection have been his scariest lifelong constants. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2023 China’s diplomats and its state-run media have responded to criticism from Western governments with scornful disdain. Chris Buckley, New York Times, 14 Dec. 2020 China and Russia are scornful. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 23 Aug. 2021 Those joining the Corps were subjected to segregated training and scornful treatment beyond the usual famously rigorous boot camp experience. Detroit Free Press, 17 Aug. 2021 Some styles are scornful tags given by others (helicopter), designations worn with pride (gentle), and some are somewhat tongue-in-cheek (looking at you, scrunchy). Elizabeth Chang, Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near scornful

Cite this Entry

“Scornful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


scorn·​ful ˈskȯrn-fəl How to pronounce scornful (audio)
: feeling or showing scorn
scornfully adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on scornful

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