\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Until Saturday night, McDaniels’ surprise decision to spurn the Colts and their head coaching job in February of 2018 was one of the worst moments in franchise history and made him a villain in Indianapolis. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "Best wishes to Andrew Luck, but timing of retirement is questionable," 25 Aug. 2019 Before the announcement, scientists were excited about the scientific potential of a Titan mission but worried that NASA might spurn it due to the high risk. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA will fund a revolutionary mission to fly through Titan’s atmosphere," 27 June 2019 But one free agent receiver spurned the chance to play with the three-time NFL MVP and the perennially contending Patriots when making the decision on his next team, in large part because of Brady’s age. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Titans WR Adam Humphries: Tom Brady's age factored into decision not to sign with Patriots," 3 June 2019 Unlike when McGrady, Duncan and Jones spurned them, though, the Bulls got their target this time. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "20 years since dissolution of the dynasty, Bulls still a long way from the top," 10 June 2018 His decision to spurn the Super Bowl transitioned to a sitdown with Roger Goodell, which evolved into a larger conversation about social injustice and the possibilities of broadening the business partnership. Stefan Bondy, courant.com, "The real reason Jay-Z didn’t perform at the Super Bowl," 15 Aug. 2019 Of course, there might be this little issue of Connelly interviewing with the Wizards only to spurn the interest of franchise owner Ted Leonsis. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Nuggets need one more big piece to be legit championship contenders. His name? Bradley Beal.," 9 July 2019 Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving made a joint decision to spurn the Knicks and team up with the long-suffering Nets. Marc Stein, New York Times, "Are Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and LeBron James Too Powerful?," 8 July 2019 On July 2nd Occidental urged its shareholders to spurn Mr Icahn’s advances. The Economist, "Investors and regulators fall out of love with colossal deals," 6 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spurn

Statistics for spurn

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spurn

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for spurn



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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!