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[skawrn-fuh l] /ˈskɔrn fəl/
full of scorn; derisive; contemptuous:
He smiled in a scornful way.
Origin of scornful
1350-1400; Middle English; see scorn, -ful
Related forms
scornfully, adverb
scornfulness, noun
unscornful, adjective
unscornfully, adverb
unscornfulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scornfully
Historical Examples
  • “If you cannot speak plain English, pray hold your tongue,” cried Leo scornfully.

    The Man with a Shadow George Manville Fenn
  • "I didn't care to have anything to do with it," returned Halbert, scornfully.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Josh cut in, scornfully pointing his thumb at the instrument, which some call life-preserver. '

    A Child of the Jago Arthur Morrison
  • "That shows how much you know," said Pee-wee scornfully as he brushed off his clothing.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • scornfully Fricka unfolded that to me, piercing my soul to its uttermost.

    The Valkyries Edward Frederic Benson
  • But this,” he added, scornfully, “is something you can not understand.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • She looked at him scornfully, and answered: "I don't know what you are talking about!"

    The Forsyte Saga, Complete John Galsworthy
  • “You said the best place to hide from a posse was in the middle of it,” he said scornfully.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • "Germany must throw off all her princes like ripe ulcers," exclaimed Bonnier, scornfully.

  • "Don't hurt yourself studying," sneered Dawkins, scornfully.

    Paul Prescott's Charge Horatio Alger
Word Origin and History for scornfully



mid-14c.; see scorn (n.) + -ful. Scorny was 19c. U.S. colloquial. Related: Scornfully; scornfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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