verb \ ˈspərn \
Updated on: 18 Feb 2018

Definition of spurn

intransitive verb
1 obsolete
a : stumble
b : kick 1a
2 archaic : to reject something disdainfully
transitive verb
1 : to tread sharply or heavily upon : trample
2 : to reject with disdain or contempt : scorn



Examples of spurn in a Sentence

  1. fiercely independent, the elderly couple spurned all offers of financial help

Recent Examples of spurn from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spurn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of spurn

Middle English, from Old English spurnan; akin to Old High German spurnan to kick, Latin spernere to spurn, Greek spairein to quiver

Synonym Discussion of spurn

decline, refuse, reject, repudiate, spurn mean to turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering. decline often implies courteous refusal especially of offers or invitations.
    • declined his party's nomination
refuse suggests more positiveness or ungraciousness and often implies the denial of something asked for.
    • refused to lend them the money
reject implies a peremptory refusal by sending away or discarding.
    • rejected the manuscript as unpublishable
repudiate implies a casting off or disowning as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance.
    • teenagers who repudiate the values of their parents
spurn stresses contempt or disdain in rejection or repudiation.
    • spurned his overtures of friendship




Definition of spurn

1 a : kick 1a
b obsolete : stumble
2 a : disdainful rejection
b : contemptuous treatment

First Known Use of spurn

14th century

SPURN Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of spurn for English Language Learners

  • : to refuse to accept (someone or something that you do not think deserves your respect, attention, affection, etc.)

SPURN Defined for Kids


verb \ ˈspərn \

Definition of spurn for Students

spurned; spurning
: to reject with scorn
  • He spurned the offer.

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