scruffier; scruffiest
: unkempt, slovenly, shaggy
a scruffy neighborhood
a scruffy beard
scruffily adverb
scruffiness 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 For one thing, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s scruffy Detective Abbott is a poor substitute for Judge Reinhold’s Lieutenant Rosewood. David Ehrlich, IndieWire, 2 July 2024 Amat makes for an ideal rom-com love interest with scruffy good looks, a sensitive air and an endless succession of henleys. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 June 2024 Death is a scruffy, dingy-looking macaw who lives a miserable existence. Kaely Monahan, The Arizona Republic, 10 June 2024 For this lasagna-loving indoor cat, the arrival of his scruffy father means the titular feline and his friend Odie must sacrifice their life of luxury and comfort to embark on … a dangerous journey into a criminal underworld? Emily Maskell, Vulture, 3 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for scruffy 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scruffy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


scruff, metathetic variant of scurf (also with senses "something worthless or contemptible, contemptible person") + -y entry 1

First Known Use

1871, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scruffy was in 1871

Dictionary Entries Near scruffy

Cite this Entry

“Scruffy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


scruffier; scruffiest
: dirty or shabby in appearance
a scruffy beard

More from Merriam-Webster on scruffy

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