\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Tom Lawrence made an excellent run down the right flank and squared the ball to the unmarked Bale who could only scuff his shot tamely at Péter Gulácsi., "International Roundup: Wales Fall to Late Defeat, Germany Demolish Estonia & More," 11 June 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And so the man himself stood up, and, despite some last-minute scuff marks from the Colombian rearguard, duly slotted the spot kick. 1-0., "Reliving England's Hoodoo-Breaking World Cup Penalty Shootout Win Over Colombia One Year on," 3 July 2019 Every dust mote, every linoleum scuff and porcelain glint has been crafted with breathtaking care. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: Woody and Buzz are back and better than ever," 20 June 2019 The hydrogen peroxide acts like an all-fabric bleach to whiten the canvas fabric and the baking soda helps scrub away scuffs and stains. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean White Vans so They Look Brand New," 17 May 2019 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

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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Dictionary Entries near scuff







scuffle hoe

Statistics for scuff

Last Updated

21 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for scuff

The first known use of scuff was in 1768

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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.

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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

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to spread as a report or rumor

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