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[skuhf] /skʌf/
verb (used with object)
to scrape (something) with one's foot or feet.
to rub or scrape (one's foot or feet) over something.
to mar by scraping or hard use, as shoes or furniture.
Chiefly Scot.
  1. to brush against, as in passing.
  2. to brush off; wipe off.
verb (used without object)
to walk without raising the feet from the ground; shuffle.
to scrape or rub one's foot back and forth over something.
to be or become marred or scratched by scraping or wear.
(of machine parts, as gear teeth) to creep from pressure and friction so that ridges appear transversely to the direction of wear.
the act or sound of scuffing.
a flat-heeled slipper with a full-length sole and an upper part covering only the front of the foot.
a marred or scratched place on an item, as from scraping or wear.
Origin of scuff
1585-95; < Middle Low German schūven to shove Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scuff
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They passed from Chet's view as they rounded the rear of the pyramid, and then he heard the scuff and clatter of their ascent.

    Brood of the Dark Moon Charles Willard Diffin
  • In the lightlessness, and above the wailing of the terrified people about them, they could hear the scuff of running feet.

    Second Sight Basil Eugene Wells
  • "Oh, I'm too happy to scuff," and she kicked off the other rubber.

    Jewel Clara Louise Burnham
  • If I could a got him by the scuff of the neck, I'd a treated him jist like any wermin;—I would, indeed!

    The Small House at Allington Anthony Trollope
  • What joy it was to us to scuff through the painted fallen leaves and send them flying like showers of jewels before us!

    My Wife and I Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Such a blow is usually sufficient to crack or chip the shell, or at least to scuff away parts of the epidermal covering.

  • "You could scuff it and I could wear myself out cleanin', I suppose," retorted Jane.

  • Every now and then she'd scuff her toe in the rug, and how some of us escaped a soup or a gravy bath I can't figure out.

    Torchy and Vee Sewell Ford
British Dictionary definitions for scuff


to scrape or drag (the feet) while walking
to rub or scratch (a surface) or (of a surface) to become rubbed or scratched
(transitive) (US) to poke at (something) with the foot
the act or sound of scuffing
a rubbed place caused by scuffing
a backless slipper
Word Origin
C19: probably of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scuff

1768, "to walk (through or over something) without raising the feet," from Scottish, probably from a Scandinavian source related to Old Norse skufa, skyfa "to shove, push aside," from PIE *skeubh- "to shove" (see shove (v.)). Meaning "injure the surface of" is from 1897. Related: Scuffed; scuffing. As a noun from 1824.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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