\ ˈspərn How to pronounce spurn (audio) \
spurned; spurning; spurns

Definition of spurn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to reject with disdain or contempt : scorn
2 : to tread sharply or heavily upon : trample

intransitive verb

1 archaic : to reject something disdainfully
2 obsolete
a : stumble



Definition of spurn (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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

Verb fiercely independent, the elderly couple spurned all offers of financial help
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Experts had worried that a Moscow default could trigger investors to spurn other emerging markets, economies that rely on a steady flow of capital. Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2022 But analysts say that vote, while an important signal of international revulsion over Russia’s attack, does not really serve as a barometer of intent to fully spurn Moscow. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 18 Mar. 2022 In the past several years, there have been massive efforts to silence the kinds of hateful, violent speech that can spurn real-life harm. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 The Justice Department urged the court to spurn the challengers' request to reconsider the last major high-court endorsement of affirmative action, in the 2003 University of Michigan case known as Grutter v. Bollinger. Joan Biskupic, CNN, 9 Dec. 2021 Recently, Advance Peace and a similar pilot program received blowback in New York and San Francisco, from people who spurn their idea to offer stipends to participants who agree to engage, lay down their guns and stay out of trouble. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Sep. 2021 Our American pretensions spurn such prescriptive tendencies. Daniel Buck, National Review, 18 July 2021 Some of those who spurn their existing teams to enter the transfer portal will find no one else wants them. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, 2 June 2021 Most important of all, institutions must develop criteria by which to accept or spurn funds, or to keep or remove names. Alexandra Peers, CNN, 18 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lessons from watching JC Latham spurn Columbus in favor of Tuscaloosa seemed more appropriate as time went on. Stephen Means, cleveland, 17 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of spurn


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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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Time Traveler for spurn

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

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Dictionary Entries Near spurn

spurling pipe



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Statistics for spurn

Last Updated

18 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spurn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spurn. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for spurn


\ ˈspərn How to pronounce spurn (audio) \
spurned; spurning

Kids Definition of spurn

: to reject with scorn He spurned the offer.

More from Merriam-Webster on spurn

Nglish: Translation of spurn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spurn for Arabic Speakers


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