\ ˈskəf How to pronounce scuff (audio) \
scuffed; scuffing; scuffs

Definition of scuff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to walk without lifting the feet : shuffle
b : to poke or shuffle a foot in exploration or embarrassment
2 : to become scratched, chipped, or roughened by wear a countertop that won't scuff

transitive verb

2a : to scrape (the feet) along a surface while walking or back and forth while standing
b : to poke at with the toe
3 : to scratch, gouge, or wear away the surface of scuffed my shoes



Definition of scuff (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a noise of or as if of scuffing
b : the act or an instance of scuffing
c : a mark or injury caused by scuffing
2 : a flat-soled slipper without quarter or heel strap — compare mule

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Synonyms for scuff

Synonyms: Verb

abrade, graze, scrape, scratch

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Examples of scuff in a Sentence


She scuffed down the hall towards her room. scuffed up her shoes by rubbing her feet under the rung of the chair


She slid into her scuffs and headed into the kitchen.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

My white sneakers scuff up too easily, my kitten heels give me blisters and my Dr. Martens are starting to grow old. Glamour, "I Think It's Time To Talk About Jelly Shoes Again," 31 May 2019 The subsequent corner came incredibly close to finding the net and, quickly following that, an electric England counter fell to Raheem Sterling who scuffed the ball wide of an open goal., "Tunisia 1-2 England: Injury Time Harry Kane Header Sees Off Tunisia in England's World Cup Opener," 18 June 2018 Rolling in and out of corners, scuffing and skittering on the summer sport tires, the big car’s body motions are well damped and dead steady. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Volvo S90 T8: Luxury, Thy Name is No Longer Lincoln," 9 Mar. 2018 Television footage showed Cameron Bancroft, one of Smith's inexperienced teammates, using a sandpaper-like strip of tape to scuff up the ball. Will Swanton, CNN, "Not cricket: How Australia cheating scandal harms national psyche," 26 Mar. 2018 In my testing, the x360’s biggest problem has been the lid’s tendency to scuff in my bag. David Pierce, WSJ, "The Best Windows Laptop $1,000(ish) Can Buy," 27 Mar. 2018 Mexico's second goal could have knocked the stuffing out of South Korea as Hernandez cut inside his marker and scuffed a finish past a helpless Cho, but still the 2002 semi finalists continued to fight and attempt to mount a comeback., "South Korea 1-2 Mexico: El Tri Put One Foot in Last 16 Despite Late Screamer From Son," 23 June 2018 The Real Madrid forward threatened a second soon after, swivelling on the edge of the area and scuffing just wide after a powerful run from left-back Raphael Guerreiro. Martyn Wood,, "Ronaldo again leads Portugal to victory against Morocco," 20 June 2018 Australian cricket has been rocked to the core after three national players conspired to cheat by scuffing the ball with sandpaper during a match against South Africa a week ago. The New York Times, New York Times, "Pope Francis Delivers Plea for Peace in Easter Sunday Mass," 1 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Glover is far from the first to make sneakers intended to show their scuffs and stains as marks of pride. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Surprise! Donald Glover Drops an Adidas Originals Collection of Canvas Sneakers," 18 Apr. 2019 In the on-set kitchen, the pots and pans on the stove had just the right amount of dent and scuff, trays of half-full wine glasses glimmered red, gold and pink, like liquid valentines. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "‘Sweetbitter’ Is a Coming-of-Age Story, With Wine Pairings," 24 Apr. 2018 Black Diamond's Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner also scored high in our tests, and the spray bottle makes spot cleaning as easy as a spritz and a wipe, especially on scuff marks. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Laminate Floors (Without Ruining Them)," 28 Mar. 2019 They're meant to be hung on the wall, and have a hook installed on the back for easy hang-up (as well as a black fabric backing to keep your walls scratch and scuff-free. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "You'll Lose Your Ship Over These Driftwood Skulls," 16 Oct. 2018 The results were subtle scratches and scuffs in the matte finish that won’t go away. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL review: the best camera gets a better phone," 15 Oct. 2018 Like the best of high-traffic carpets, Hadid’s designs look perfectly suited to hide stains and shoe scuffs—just don’t expect to see it at your local airport or casino. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Zaha Hadid’s famous designs reimagined as 22 brightly colored rugs," 2 Oct. 2018 While the powerful sponges have proven to be pros at lifting scuffs and stains all over the home, this is a certainly a new purpose for the multi-purpose cleaners. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "This Grandma Cleaned Her Slimy Green Pool in 24 Hours Using a Single Magic Eraser," 18 July 2018 According to a Department of Motor Vehicles report, the kind any autonomous vehicle tester must submit to the state of California after any incident, both vehicles escaped with only scuffs. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "A Cruise-on-Cruise Crash Reveals the Hardest Thing About Self-Driving Tech," 3 July 2018

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


1768, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1899, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for scuff


origin unknown

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Learn More about scuff

Dictionary Entries near scuff







scuffle hoe

Statistics for scuff

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scuff

The first known use of scuff was in 1768

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More Definitions for scuff



English Language Learners Definition of scuff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make a mark or scratch in the surface of (something) by scraping it
: to walk without lifting your feet : to drag your feet while you walk



English Language Learners Definition of scuff (Entry 2 of 2)

: a mark that is made by scuffing something
US : slippers that are open at the heel


\ ˈskəf How to pronounce scuff (audio) \
scuffed; scuffing

Kids Definition of scuff

1 : to scrape the feet while walking
2 : to mark or scratch by scraping Don't scuff your good shoes.

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More from Merriam-Webster on scuff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scuff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scuff

Spanish Central: Translation of scuff

Nglish: Translation of scuff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scuff for Arabic Speakers

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