\ ˈskrə-fē How to pronounce scruffy (audio) \
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 How to pronounce scruffily (audio) \ adverb
scruffiness \ ˈskrə-​fē-​nəs How to pronounce scruffiness (audio) \ 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 In April 2020, somewhere in Seattle, a 39-year-old man with a shaved head and scruffy facial hair lifts an Osé toward the camera of his laptop. Lux Alptraum, Wired, "One Woman’s High-Touch Bid to Upend the Sex-Toy Industry," 16 Oct. 2020 These stocky, scruffy creatures once existed throughout Europe and Asia. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Cloned an Endangered Wild Horse Using the Decades-Old Frozen Cells of a Stallion," 15 Oct. 2020 If the formulas, processes and sequences that guide and undergird minimalist compositions often translate as icy or empty, Gibson’s presence as a player in his music bestows it with a sensual, often scruffy humanity. Washington Post, "The late composer Jon Gibson helped save minimalism from itself," 15 Oct. 2020 Instead a scruffy little dog in banana-print pajamas appeared on their screens, alongside an error message. Sandra Upson, Wired, "How an Epic Series of Tech Errors Hobbled Miami’s Schools," 16 Sep. 2020 The scruffy daredevil and wannabe folk hero had morphed into a crackpot involved in a paradoxical attempt to use science in order to undermine it. David Howard, Popular Mechanics, ""Mad Mike" Hughes Rejected Science and Chased Fame. It Killed Him.," 30 Aug. 2020 In keeping with our contemporary preference for more complex, troubled heroes—and despite the show’s period setting, in 1930s Los Angeles—the new Mason is a scruffy drinker played by The Americans breakout Matthew Rhys. Judy Berman, Time, "Cops Is History, Long Live the Detective Show," 11 June 2020 At his feet, a scruffy German Shepherd poked her long wet nose up toward the camera, her tail swishing as if in silent agreement. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "The Dogs of Chernobyl: Are virtual tours the future of tourism?," 5 June 2020 Even a scruffy journalist like me could afford to live the dream. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "The markets are defying the odds. How high can they go?," 9 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for scruffy

Time Traveler

The first known use of scruffy was in 1871

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Statistics for scruffy

Last Updated

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scruffy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for scruffy


How to pronounce scruffy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scruffy

informal : not neat, clean, or orderly


\ ˈskrə-fē How to pronounce scruffy (audio) \
scruffier; scruffiest

Kids Definition of scruffy

: dirty or shabby in appearance

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Comments on scruffy

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