scorn·​ful | \ ˈskȯrn-fəl How to pronounce scornful (audio) \

Definition of scornful

: full of scorn : contemptuous

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from scornful

scornfully \ ˈskȯrn-​fə-​lē How to pronounce scornfully (audio) \ 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

Lou is his father, once so distant and scornful of his fragile son, now softer and benign, proffering unwanted gifts that Sedaris has learned are easier for all concerned to accept with grace. Alan Cumming, New York Times, "David Sedaris Has a New Essay Collection. It Changed Alan Cumming’s Whole Worldview.," 25 May 2018 By then the family estate was his; the artist-rebel had become a devout Roman Catholic and vehement Provençal nativist, scornful of Paris, though glad for its approval. New York Times, "They Suffered for Their Cézanne Portraits," 20 June 2018 Others see it as an appropriately scornful term for a woman who was barely literate, left little for other women to emulate and led the bankrupt Qing dynasty to its downfall in a country whose government remains as male-dominated as ever. New York Times, "Was This Powerful Chinese Empress a Feminist Trailblazer?," 10 July 2018 Though the American middle class was still scornful of the whole idea of movies (and suspicious of their moral effects), Griffith had done much to improve the reputation of the upstart industry. Longreads, "When the Movies Went West," 15 May 2018 Faced with angry alumni and a scornful public, Nikias managed to settle the crisis with calls for more transparency and tougher ethical standards. Thomas Curwen,, "Nikias' tenure as USC president was marked by growth and scandal," 26 May 2018 Taking a page from his acquaintance Karl Rove, Wright notes that Texans have traditionally been more populist than progressive, attracted to conspiracies in which outside forces, scornful of their values, have rigged the game against them. David Oshinsky, New York Times, "The State That Foreshadows America’s Future," 23 Apr. 2018 Ronan Farrow has finally come to the defense of Mia Farrow and Dylan Farrow, who were the subjects of a scornful personal essay his brother, Moses Farrow, published Wednesday. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Ronan Farrow Dismisses Brother’s Claim About Mia Farrow’s Alleged Abuse," 24 May 2018 Over the last few years, Sadr, long dismissed as a political has-been who had once ordered his Jaish Al Mahdi militia to attack U.S. troops, has emerged as a nationalist figure, equally scornful of both U.S. and Iranian influence in the country. Nabih Bulos,, "Firebrand cleric Muqtada Sadr's alliance holds a surprise lead in Iraq elections," 14 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of scornful

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scornful

Dictionary Entries near scornful








Statistics for scornful

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scornful

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scornful



English Language Learners Definition of scornful

: feeling or showing scorn


scorn·​ful | \ ˈskȯrn-fəl How to pronounce scornful (audio) \

Kids Definition of scornful

: feeling or showing disgust and anger

Other Words from scornful

scornfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on scornful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scornful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scornful

Spanish Central: Translation of scornful

Nglish: Translation of scornful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on scornful

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


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!