\ ˈskəf \
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

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 Both Thiago Silva and Paulinho missed glorious opportunities to open the scoring from corners, Silva hitting the post and Paulinho scuffing his shot. James Taylor, Pro Soccer USA, "Brazil 1-2 Belgium: Red Devils Shatter Brazil’s Dreams With Clinical Display to Set Up France Clash," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Mirack was wearing her jacket and gloves and that, combined with scuff marks, led authorities to believe she had been dragged back into the home, Stedman said. Alexia Fernandez,, "Wedding DJ Arrested for the Brutal 1992 Rape and Murder of School Teacher Christy Mirack," 26 June 2018 The cotton fabrics have been fortified with a protective frame that guards against drops and scuffs. Jean Palmieri | Wwd,, "Zachary Prell creates iPhone cases from shirt fabrics," 26 June 2018 Slumped in his Beijing hospital bed in tatty ward-issue pajamas, the 69-year-old is a warren of aches and scuffs, and sports a whopping frostbite sore on each of his two cheeks. Charlie Campbell / Beijing, Time, "'I Hate It.' Double-Amputee Climber Xia Boyu Vows Never to Return to Everest," 14 June 2018 The colors are incredibly rich but the film has scuffs, something moviephiles enjoy as authentic. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "There Are Secrets in the Texas Theatre," 25 May 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

30 Dec 2018

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

scuffs : slippers that are open at the heel


\ ˈskəf \
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

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).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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