\ 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

Here’s an excerpt: The scruffy bear of a man pulls his sunglasses tight so his football team can’t see his tears. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Should the Lakers reunite with Dwight Howard?," 20 Aug. 2019 Looming over each twisting plot is Jackson Lamb, the scruffy and flatulent Falstaff of the undercover world. The Economist, "Mick Herron’s novels are a satirical chronicle of modern Britain," 15 Aug. 2019 If the marketeers get this warm and scruffy charmer on base the first weekend, A League of Their Own will leg out a solid summer run for Columbia. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'A League of Their Own': THR's 1992 Review," 1 July 2019 In the slightly scruffier central part of the county, including Pittsfield, the largest city in the Berkshires, the average sales price last year was $197,667. Tim Mckeough, New York Times, "Betting on the Berkshires," 13 Apr. 2018 But gentrification is coming to this cheerfully scruffy strip. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "New York City Would Really Rather Not Talk About Its Slavery-Loving Past," 15 Apr. 2015 On a humid morning in April, the day before his big bout, Pheeranut and his coach climbed inside Aoy’s gray pickup for the two-hour drive to the scruffy beach town of Pattaya. Shashank Bengalistaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Column One: Young Thai boxer looks like a lollipop, stings like a bee," 30 July 2019 The dogs, cats and wild animals look scruffy at first, but new owners can brush their fur, add a ribbon collar and turn their crate into a little house or carrier. Christina Barron, Washington Post, "Top travel toys and games for 2019," 10 June 2019 Others have a receding hairline, weathered complexion and a Rip Van Winkle-style scruffy beard. Dana Scott, azcentral, "Cardinals, Suns, Coyotes take the Age Challenge," 18 July 2019

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

6 Sep 2019

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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on scruffy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scruffy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scruffy

Spanish Central: Translation of scruffy

Nglish: Translation of scruffy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scruffy for Arabic Speakers

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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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