\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

That film is about an unhinged, spurned mistress who uses the levers of reputation to wreak havoc on an irresponsible but ultimately redeemable man. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "In Dirty John, Connie Britton Brings a Cautionary Tale to Life—And According to Her, the Timing’s Never Been Better to Talk About Con Men," 23 Nov. 2018 This year, the party’s primary voters spurned several attractive candidates cut from the same cloth and gambled on the young, unabashedly progressive African-American mayor of Tallahassee. William A. Galston, WSJ, "After the Midterms, Party Strategies Are Set," 6 Nov. 2018 Shareholders at the meeting spurned other efforts by gun activists to loosen the company’s ties to the National Rifle Association, and analysts had not expected the request for more transparency to succeed, either. New York Times, "Sturm Ruger Shareholders Adopt Measure Backed by Gun Safety Activists," 9 May 2018 He's lionized for advocating a heliocentric view of our solar system, spurning Church doctrine and becoming a heretic. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Newfound Galileo Letter Suggests He Lied to Dupe the Church and Avoid Persecution," 25 Sep. 2018 Multiple figures who have been spurned by President Donald Trump have had success in the crowdfunding realm this year, including Stormy Daniels, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Michael Cohen. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Why Susan Collins claims she’s being bribed over her Kavanaugh vote," 12 Sep. 2018 As Sarah Ellison of the Washington Post has reported, Spicer’s previous attempts to land a television gig as a talking head since leaving the White House were spurned not just by CNN but by Fox News. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "Rot on the Right, Green Shoots on the Left," 28 June 2018 Milan actually spurned a better opportunity when Patrick Cutrone shot straight at Gianluigi Buffon in the eighth minute, having been played in by Hakan Calhanoglu. SI.com, "Juventus Blows Away AC Milan in Second Half to Win 4th Straight Coppa Italia," 9 May 2018 Congress spurned proposed cuts to the program in 2013, when President Barack Obama’s administration considered sacrificing some of its budget. Danielle Douglas-gabriel, Washington Post, "Congress likely to protect funding for D.C. college-tuition-aid program," 22 Mar. 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

8 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on spurn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spurn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spurn

Spanish Central: Translation of spurn

Nglish: Translation of spurn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spurn for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spurn

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


a knickknack or trinket

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