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[skawrn-fuh l] /ˈskɔrn fəl/
full of scorn; derisive; contemptuous:
He smiled in a scornful way.
Origin of scornful
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at scorn, -ful
Related forms
scornfully, adverb
scornfulness, noun
unscornful, adjective
unscornfully, adverb
unscornfulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for scornful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why then, you are to put off that scornful look, and hear what Mr. Solmes has to say to you.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • She was exactly the same as when they had parted, just as handsome, just as scornful, just as repressed.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • She repelled my mocking smile with a glance of scornful indignation.

  • Why should people be so scornful of us who stand on our heads?

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • She turned towards him quickly, and with a scornful look and flashing eyes.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • An easy, scornful, merry laugh—the laugh of young Rupert Hentzau!

    The Prisoner of Zenda Anthony Hope
Word Origin and History for scornful

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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