\ ˈskrəf How to pronounce scruff (audio) \

Definition of scruff

: the back of the neck : nape

Examples of scruff in a Sentence

She held the kitten by the scruff of its neck.

Recent Examples on the Web

Beards and bears and woodsy scruff have now fully entered the mainstream as the contemporary lumbersexual reappropriates the same tropes of classic American masculinity so long adopted and amplified in LGBTQ spaces. Jonny Diamond, Longreads, "Lumbersexuality, a Sport and a Pastime," 8 June 2019 Something about a man in a beanie (with a little bit of scruff 😍) just looks so good. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "20 Cool Outfits for Guys That Instantly Make Them a Million Times Hotter," 29 Apr. 2019 Ronnie and Vinny even have scruff, a move that's antithetical to the laundered, waxed, and perfumed Jersey Shore male aesthetic. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "The Jersey Shore Guys Dress Like Scott Disick Now," 30 Mar. 2018 From Zac Efron's retro 'stache to Kit Harington's wildman beard, there were plenty of young guys at the 2018 Golden Globes with admirable scruff. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "The Over-40 Set Brought Grown-Man Grooming to the Golden Globes," 8 Jan. 2018 These were the words of my grab-life-by-the-scruff-of-the-neck husband after finishing our first six months bobbing about in the sea. Kellie Pollock, CNN, "'Weathered but wiser' — Around-the-world sailors learn hard lessons," 17 Apr. 2018 And while his stubble is now proper scruff, his neck is all cleaned up. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "Jon Hamm Knows How to Grow a Beard in Public," 12 Jan. 2018 Allover scruff and and visible chest hair speaks for itself. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "The Week in Excellent Celebrity Haircuts," 11 Feb. 2018 Still, the Posies had a little scruff and blur to its guitar sounds and muscle to the drums, which situated it in the era. John Adamian,, "Seven Concerts You Might Want To See (And Why)," 9 June 2018

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

1790, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scruff

alteration of earlier scuff, of unknown origin

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Statistics for scruff

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for scruff

The first known use of scruff was in 1790

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More Definitions for scruff



English Language Learners Definition of scruff

: the skin on the back of the neck


\ ˈskrəf How to pronounce scruff (audio) \

Kids Definition of scruff

: the loose skin on the back of the neck

More from Merriam-Webster on scruff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scruff

Spanish Central: Translation of scruff

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