\ 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



Definition of spurn (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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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

Verb fiercely independent, the elderly couple spurned all offers of financial help
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The move to relinquish his conservatorship powers might have been spurned by confidential documents Britney's ex-husband and father of her two sons, Kevin Federline, filed on Aug. 28. Claudia Rosenbaum, Billboard, "Britney Spears Father Temporarily Relieved of Conservator Role," 9 Sep. 2019 This has been a long overdue investigation, which was finally spurned by the release of Fast spin-off Hobbs & Shaw. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Who in Fast & Furious is the fastest and furiousest? An EW investigation," 5 Aug. 2019 Court documents in his murder case said Mr. Rajagopal had wanted to marry the daughter of one of his assistant managers but was spurned by her. Amie Tsang, BostonGlobe.com, "P. Rajagopal, Indian restaurateur convicted of murder, dies at 71," 25 July 2019 But after being spurned by JaVale McGee, who re-signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, two people with firsthand knowledge of the situation told the Free Press the Pistons are exploring all options. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "How Detroit Pistons can address backup center spot through free agency," 11 July 2019 In a furious Plan B spending spree after being spurned by Irving and Durant, the Knicks signed Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington and Elfrid Payton. David Waldstein, New York Times, "Why Stars Won’t Come to the Knicks," 5 July 2019 However, the champions of Europe are hardly likely to make a switch for a player on big wages who has spurned them in the past and failed to make an impact at one of their rivals. SI.com, "Emre Can: Why Liverpool Should Not Bring Back Their Former Star Back to Anfield," 9 Sep. 2019 Gospel music legend Mavis Staples, who spurned Bob Dylan’s wedding proposal in the 1960s, is a reliably fiery opening act. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fall arts 2019 | Music: Bad Bunny, Van Morrison, Blind Boys of Alabama and more," 15 Sep. 2019 Over the past year, the president’s bigoted rhetoric and signaling escalated with barrages of tweets attacking congressional members of color and asylum seekers, which spurned debate in newsrooms over how to best articulate the meaning of his words. Syreeta Mcfadden, The Atlantic, "What Toni Morrison Knew About Trump," 13 Aug. 2019

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 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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Statistics for spurn

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for spurn

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

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More Definitions for spurn


How to pronounce spurn (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spurn

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


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

Kids Definition of spurn

: to reject with scorn He spurned the offer.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spurn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spurn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spurn

Spanish Central: Translation of spurn

Nglish: Translation of spurn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spurn for Arabic Speakers

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