\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for scuff

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of scuff in a Sentence

Verb She scuffed down the hall towards her room. scuffed up her shoes by rubbing her feet under the rung of the chair Noun She slid into her scuffs and headed into the kitchen.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The game gained momentum when Rashford was sent through on goal, only to scuff his effort into the grateful arms of the Gunners 'keeper., "Man Utd 1-1 Arsenal: Report, Ratings & Reaction as VAR Intervention Rescues Point for Gunners," 30 Sep. 2019 Both were investigative essays that involved old-fashioned, boot-scuffing journalism. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Jingle, Jingle for the Future of Conservative Journalism," 19 Dec. 2019 To ensure that the primer bonds to the wood and to any existing paint, lightly scuff up the surface first. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, "How to fix a water-damaged bathroom windowsill," 30 Sep. 2019 After scuffing through most of that game, the Lions faced a fourth-and-1 at the L.A. 35-yard line, down 10-6, with just over 8 minutes to play. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' 2019 season (so far) has been defined by these 5 plays," 7 Nov. 2019 Ballplayers, Bouton revealed, could be boozing, womanizing, pill-popping, ball-scuffing rascals — overgrown teenagers, that is. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Jim Bouton Opened Up the Major Leagues to Everyone," 11 July 2019 Mexico nearly took the lead in the 63rd, but goalkeeper Zack Steffen denied Raúl Jiménez, who scuffed his chance from close range. Brian Straus,, "Mexico Turns Tide, Wins Gold Cup Title Again vs. Wasteful USMNT," 7 July 2019 The ballplayers took drugs, pitchers scuffed the ball, outfielders peered lasciviously at women in the bleachers. David Shribman,, "Jim Bouton’s bawdy ‘Ball Four’ transformed baseball's public image," 11 July 2019 Then with five minutes left and the game finally starting to come alive, Jack Grealish had a terrific chance to win the game but scuffed his shot as the game tapered out to a 0-0 draw., "Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Teams Play Out Bore Draw," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Nothing but the puff of her breath and the scuff of her slip-on shoes as Madeleine Mukantagara walked through the fields to her first patient of the day. Piercing cries once echoed down the hill to the road below. CBS News, "Rwanda makes its own morphine while U.S. awash with opioids," 26 Dec. 2019 Police noted scuff marks on the man’s hand, according to the statement. Catalina Righter,, "Westminster woman charged with assault after alleged argument," 6 Dec. 2019 The sunset reflection is marred by scuffs, abrasions, and dirt. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk Reveals SpaceX's New Starship, the Rocket Bound for Mars," 29 Sep. 2019 That anchors the room and also hides scuffs, because island cabinets tend to get kicked a lot, and the clients have two kids. David A. Keeps, House Beautiful, "Mary McDonald on Designing a Los Angeles Home With a Neutral Palette," 4 Aug. 2013 There is also a second-hand market for those willing to accept a few scuffs on the paintwork. The Economist, "Aircraft-carriers are big, expensive, vulnerable—and popular," 14 Nov. 2019 Sandra Leik testified that scuff marks were left on her kitchen floor near the stove and refrigerator., "Murders of Michigan women still unsolved 50 years later — but cops had eye on 1 man," 10 Nov. 2019 And on one of those lines, there was a black scuff mark. Emily Brindley,, "Vehicle hits two pedestrians in front of Simsbury town hall, police department," 6 Nov. 2019 Homeward bound The step-in height is low with no need for running boards, and the door skins extend below the sill to prevent dirty scuffs on legs and shoes. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2020 Hyundai Palisade: move-in ready at $50,000," 19 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scuff

Time Traveler for scuff

Time Traveler

The first known use of scuff was in 1768

See more words from the same year

Statistics for scuff

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scuff.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scuff


How to pronounce scuff (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on scuff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scuff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scuff

Spanish Central: Translation of scuff

Nglish: Translation of scuff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scuff for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scuff

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


dull or mediocre

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!