\ˈskrȯl \
scrawled; scrawling; scrawls

Definition of scrawl 

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to write awkwardly or carelessly

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Other Words from scrawl

scrawl noun
scrawler noun
scrawly \ˈskrȯ-lē \ adjective

Synonyms for scrawl


scratch, scribble

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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

Besides making the art look tacky, the tape obscured a spot where a signature may have been scrawled. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Tape-Removing Gel May Be a Game Changer for Art Restoration," 24 May 2018 The threat against Rancho Buena Vista came the same day police officers in the San Diego Unified School District arrested a Serra High student on suspicion of scrawling a threatening message at the school. Gary Warth,, "VUSD, Sheriff respond to school threat," 21 Mar. 2018 The child, who lived in a world with that name carefully written into her clothes, scrawled on the finger paintings still hanging on the refrigerator, paused, then leaped back. Lauren Groff, The New Yorker, "Under the Wave," 9 July 2017 Barcelona signed the 13-year-old Messi to a contract scrawled on a napkin in 2000. Washington Post, "Messi and Ronaldo exit World Cup without titles," 30 June 2018 Barcelona signed the 13-year-old Messi to a contract scrawled on a napkin in 2000. Ronald Blum, Fox News, "Messi and Ronaldo exit World Cup without titles," 30 June 2018 Barcelona signed the 13-year-old Messi to a contract scrawled on a napkin in 2000. Ronald Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo exit World Cup without titles," 30 June 2018 Soon after their first encounter, Santiago went on vacation, though not before offering Marshall his personal contact information, scrawled on a Bible-study pamphlet that had been mailed to his home. John H. Tucker, Daily Intelligencer, "Rape at Rosie’s," 26 June 2018 Separately, Rosenfeld said anti-Arab graffiti was found scrawled in an east Jerusalem neighborhood Monday. Washington Post, "Israeli man stabbed in Jerusalem attack dies in hospital," 19 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scrawl.' 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 scrawl

1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for scrawl

origin unknown

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Statistics for scrawl

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scrawl

The first known use of scrawl was in 1612

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More Definitions for scrawl



English Language Learners Definition of scrawl

: to write or draw (something) very quickly or carelessly


\ˈskrȯl \
scrawled; scrawling

Kids Definition of scrawl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to write quickly and carelessly



Kids Definition of scrawl (Entry 2 of 2)

: something written carelessly or without skill His signature is just a scrawl.

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Comments on scrawl

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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