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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
First recorded in 1585-95, scuff is from the Middle Low German word schūven to shove Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for scuffing
Historical Examples
  • When they came to a stop Ruth tumbled out first, then the Judge and his lady followed, scuffing along as best they could.

    The House With Sixty Closets Frank Samuel Child
  • “Hey,” he said as he came through the door, scuffing at the lock with his key for a minute or two first.

  • Shrieks and scuffing acquainted those without that the journeymen were earning their hire.

    Following the Equator, Part 6 Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Jem Three, scuffing barefoot through the sandy soil, met this radiant dream-maiden with the exalted mien.

    Judith Lynn Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • And across the great room, from the same passage where he had entered, Chet heard again the sound of bare, scuffing feet.

    Brood of the Dark Moon Charles Willard Diffin
  • Even the heavy old rug had been worn shabby by the scuffing of his father's feet.

    Long Live the King Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • The alien was outlined there as he went out; then he himself was scuffing through sand close upon another death scene.

    Star Born Andre Norton
  • They looked back at her for a moment, scuffing their feet in the dirt and not saying anything.

    Homo Inferior Mari Wolf
  • The English genius makes the vitals plain by scuffing the technicalities away.

  • I got six huskies running loose outside, so if you hear 'em scuffing around you'll know it's not the wolves.

    North of Fifty-Three Bertrand W. Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for scuffing


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 scuffing



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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