scrawled; scrawling; scrawls

transitive verb

: to write or draw awkwardly, hastily, or carelessly
scrawled his name

intransitive verb

: to write awkwardly or carelessly
scrawl noun
scrawler noun
scrawly adjective

Examples of scrawl in a Sentence

She scrawled her signature on the receipt. scrawled a quick note, stuck it in their mailbox, and hurried off
Recent Examples on the Web Pro-Hamas slogans are scrawled on Jewish institutions. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 26 Feb. 2024 Five mothers, whose contact information Gaza health workers had tracked down and scrawled on a list, accompanied their babies to Egypt, according to Osama el-Nems, a nurse from Gaza who arrived with them and remained here for nearly two months. Heba Farouk Mahfouz, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 Who wants to see those sinister scrawls creep into their neighborhoods? Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2024 For every oversized t-shirt Westwood sent down the runway scrawled in Sharpie pen, there were 10 truly transcendent looks banked in her arsenal. Leah Dolan, CNN, 4 Mar. 2024 The walls of the apartment, on a winding street in the Renaissance quarter of Rome, are decorated with contemporary works by Jannis Kounellis, a Greek artist who scrawled words over his lithographs, and Sidival Fila, a Franciscan friar who paints canvases of sewn fabrics. Jason Horowitz, Vogue, 12 Jan. 2024 Those who remained were mostly from the 25th, playing various roles, but their ranks and patches had all been replaced with a number scrawled on their fatigues. Damien Cave Mark Abramson, New York Times, 15 Dec. 2023 Many children will learn the Gettysburg Address along with other critical speeches scrawled in history textbooks. Karina Elwood, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 Travis didn’t know it at the time, but posting photos on Facebook of the bottle and the letter, scrawled in the pencil handwriting of a ninth grader, would unlock its story and the inspiration behind its origin. Sarah Engel, CNN, 7 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of scrawl was in 1612

Dictionary Entries Near scrawl

Cite this Entry

“Scrawl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to write or draw awkwardly, hastily, or carelessly : scribble
scrawl noun
scrawly adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on scrawl

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