\ˈspərn \
spurned; spurning; spurns

Definition of spurn 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 obsolete

a : stumble

b : kick sense 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



Definition of spurn (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : kick sense 1a

b obsolete : stumble

2a : disdainful rejection

b : contemptuous treatment

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Other Words from spurn


spurner noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of spurn in a Sentence


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Because most soil organisms spurn daylight, gently probe the soil to unearth the more shy residents. Julie Monahan, Good Housekeeping, "10 Easy Soil Tests," 9 Sep. 2015 That was a really disappointing finish from Cuadrado, spurning what might be Colombia’s best chance all match. Andrew Das, New York Times, "England Shakes Its Shootout Curse and Saves Its World Cup," 5 July 2018 The goal came after Sweden had created but spurned the best chances of the match. Houston Chronicle, "England defeats Colombia on PKs to reach World Cup quarterfinals," 3 July 2018 Despite the man advantage, Arsenal struggled to break through Atletico's defensive wall in the first hour of the game, spurning chance after chance. Sandy Thin, CNN, "Europa League: Antoine Griezmann sucker punch floors Arsenal," 26 Apr. 2018 Most notably, Trump has imposed tariffs that could impede international trade, and has spurned historic military allies while cozying up to Russia. Jonathan Tamari, Philly.com, "For traditional Republicans, immigration, tariffs show risks of 'silent bargain' with Trump," 25 June 2018 For poor Paul Ryan, this isn't the first time a celebrity has spurned his advances. Luke Darby, GQ, "Seth Rogen Brutally Rejected Paul Ryan's Selfie Request in Front of Ryan's Own Kids," 23 June 2018 In 2017, Walker spurned a parade of college basketball royalty — schools like Kentucky, Villanova, Arizona and Syracuse — to sign with Miami. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs’ new draft pick not just all talk," 23 June 2018 One big problem is that the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), the most powerful armed group, has spurned talks. The Economist, "Terrorists in southern Thailand go on a bombing spree," 24 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of spurn


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spurn


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

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Statistics for spurn

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spurn

The first known use of spurn was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for spurn



English Language Learners Definition of spurn

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


\ˈspərn \
spurned; spurning

Kids Definition of spurn

: to reject with scorn He spurned the offer.

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