\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from scrawl

scrawl noun
scrawler noun
scrawly \ ˈskrȯ-​lē How to pronounce scrawly (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for scrawl


scratch, scribble, squiggle

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 Seven people have been charged after graffiti was scrawled on The Bean in Millennium Park and the cancer survivor wall in Maggie Daley Park earlier this week. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Seven charged after The Bean in Millennium Park defaced with graffiti," 4 July 2019 Devlin typically scrawls down the suggestions but doesn’t enter broadcasts with a specific shoutout strategy. Jacob Feldman,, "During Toronto's Run, Raptors' Voice Matt Devlin Has Represented an Entire Country," 6 June 2019 Unique flavors, like Lemon Marshmallow, Rose Cardamom Pistachio and Matcha Candied Kumquat, are scrawled on the blackboard, and the menu changes frequently depending on what’s fresh. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "7 new OMG-good extreme ice cream shops in the Bay Area," 1 July 2019 Red liquid was doused on the statue, and the phrase was scrawled on a plaque with the names of more than 500 Tennessee Confederate soldiers. USA TODAY, "Mural for missing women, ‘Jedi’ cremations, MRI party: News from around our 50 states," 18 June 2019 Damage included a stop sign and pole bent and broken off its base, graffiti scrawled on the baseball dugout and a park district rules sign discovered laying on the baseball field. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Southland crime: Oak Forest man accused of stealing vehicle from car wash in Tinley Park, more," 10 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of scrawl

1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for scrawl

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scrawl

Dictionary Entries near scrawl








Statistics for scrawl

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scrawl

The first known use of scrawl was in 1612

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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 move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!