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  1. an irrational dislike; loathing: She took a scunner to him.
verb (used without object)
  1. Scot. and North England. to feel or show violent disgust, especially to flinch, blanch, or gag.
verb (used with object)
  1. Scot. and North England. to disgust; nauseate.

Origin of scunner

1325–75; Middle English (Scots) skunner to shrink back in disgust, equivalent to skurn to flinch (akin to scare) + -er -er6, with loss of first r by dissimilation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scunner

Historical Examples

  • And that would give him a scunner against your story, mebbe!

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Them that likesna water brose will scunner at cauld steerie.

    The Proverbs of Scotland

    Alexander Hislop

  • The scunner in the foretop was near blinded by the driven snow.

  • But she had what the Scotch call a 'scunner' against me when I was a boy.

    What Timmy Did

    Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes

  • Scunder or Scunner; a dislike; to take a dislike or disgust against anything.

British Dictionary definitions for scunner


  1. (intr) to feel aversion
  2. (tr) to produce a feeling of aversion in
  1. a strong aversion (often in the phrase take a scunner to)
  2. an object of dislike; nuisance

Word Origin

C14: from Scottish skunner, of unknown 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