\ ˈskrȯl How to pronounce scrawl (audio) \
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 How to pronounce scrawly (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for scrawl


scratch, scribble, squiggle

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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

It was published after a racist message was scrawled on the door of a black student in October 2018 lead to a large protest and other shows of support for diversity. Zekriah Chaudhry, Twin Cities, "St. Thomas seeks to boost diversity goals with new member of president’s cabinet," 23 Aug. 2019 Visit the unofficial Kurt Cobain memorial in Viretta Park, where lyrics and love letters are scrawled on two park benches near his former home, and London Bridge Studio. National Geographic, "Hear the 10 essential sounds of America," 23 Aug. 2019 Two former classmates told The Associated Press that Betts was suspended during their junior year at Bellbrook High School after a hit list was found scrawled in a school bathroom. John Seewer, The Denver Post, "Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine urges gun sale background checks after shooting," 6 Aug. 2019 Both former classmates told The Associated Press that Betts was suspended during their junior year at Bellbrook High School after a hit list was found scrawled in a school bathroom. Author: John Seewer, Dan Sewell, John Minchillo, Anchorage Daily News, "Unknowns in Ohio massacre include: Did shooter target his sister?," 5 Aug. 2019 In March, 2016, four Grosse Pointe South High School students were suspended for a week after a social media post showed three of them with the N-word scrawled across their stomachs. John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, "Grosse Pointe girls hurl N-word and racial slurs in video, officials call for sensitivity," 25 June 2019 Across the harbor in Kowloon and the rural suburbs called the New Territories, protesters surrounded police stations, scrawling insults on the outer walls and flashing lasers at dormitory windows. Los Angeles Times, "Citywide strike erupts into night of chaos in Hong Kong," 5 Aug. 2019 The next month, the security police astride the Jordanian border in the dusty southern town of Daraa ignited the tinder by torturing children who had scrawled anti-Assad graffiti on walls. Charles Glass, Harper's magazine, "“Tell Me How This Ends”," 10 Feb. 2019 Whoever was still scrawling swastikas on the bathroom stalls. Jessica Contrera, Washington Post, "A black principal, four white teens and the ‘senior prank’ that became a hate crime," 9 July 2019

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

8 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce scrawl (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on scrawl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scrawl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scrawl

Spanish Central: Translation of scrawl

Nglish: Translation of scrawl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scrawl for Arabic Speakers

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).


to make a temporary encampment

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