\ˈskrə-fē \
scruffier; scruffiest

Definition of scruffy 

: unkempt, slovenly, shaggy a scruffy neighborhood a scruffy beard

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Other Words from scruffy

scruffily \ˈskrə-fə-lē \ adverb
scruffiness \ˈskrə-fē-nəs \ noun

Examples of scruffy in a Sentence

The neighborhood is full of dilapidated houses with scruffy backyards. dressed in scruffy old clothes to clean out the garage

Recent Examples on the Web

My husband is sick of seeing the scruffy look, as well. Ellen Warren,, "Is a 3-day beard a deal breaker — or just scruffy enough?," 2 July 2018 Both victims described him as a white man with brown hair and scruffy facial hair. Ajc Homepage, ajc, "Sketches released of fake cop suspects, but is it the same man?," 14 Mar. 2018 Despite the hilarious and viral nature of this tweetstorm, Culkin actually looked cool and polished in his overtly glam at-home ensemble: no more scruffy long hair, dirty goatee, or hipster Paul Bunyan flannel. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Macaulay Culkin Spent the Oscars at Home (Alone?) in a Tux Eating Ramen," 5 Mar. 2018 Svi Mykhailiuk, Los Angeles’ second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft, is 6-foot-8, lanky and wears a scruffy beard. Ethan Bauer,, "Lakers open summer league in inaugural California Classic," 2 July 2018 One child played with his beard, and the scruffy Duke happily obliged. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kids Couldn't Keep Their Hands Off of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Ireland," 11 July 2018 That fear takes on visible form in the items of empty clothing suspended spookily above David Israel Reynoso’s set, whose urban-edifice walls rise to reveal the bare studs and exposed wiring of the women’s scruffy apartment. James Hebert,, "A struggle to cling to identity is at heart of La Jolla Playhouse's quietly moving 'Queens'," 10 July 2018 In June 1964, when Astronaut was a scruffy 5-month-old, the Holstein bull calf was brought from Colorado’s Paclamar Farms to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds to be auctioned. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Remembering a time when Montgomery County was dairy — very dairy, indeed," 10 July 2018 But Pooh had humble beginnings in a children’s book by A.A. Milne, with somewhat scruffy pen-and-ink drawings by E.H. Shepard. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "Things to do on Tuesday, June 26 in and around Atlanta," 25 June 2018

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

1871, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scruffy

English dialect scruff something worthless

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Dictionary Entries near scruffy






scrum half


Statistics for scruffy

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scruffy

The first known use of scruffy was in 1871

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More Definitions for scruffy



English Language Learners Definition of scruffy

: not neat, clean, or orderly


\ˈskrə-fē \
scruffier; scruffiest

Kids Definition of scruffy

: dirty or shabby in appearance

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Comments on scruffy

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


lying above or upon

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