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scurrilous

[skur-uh-luh s, skuhr-]
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adjective
  1. grossly or obscenely abusive: a scurrilous attack on the mayor.
  2. characterized by or using low buffoonery; coarsely jocular or derisive: a scurrilous jest.

Origin of scurrilous

First recorded in 1570–80; scurrile + -ous
Related formsscur·ril·ous·ly, adverbscur·ril·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. vituperative, insulting, offensive. 2. vulgar.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scurrilous

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Well, of course you know, and I know, that they're scurrilous lies; but just how will you stop them?

  • I stood aghast at this scurrilous address, the like of which I had never yet heard.

    Athelstane Ford

    Allen Upward

  • Your uncle, who heard about it at the club, says it is scurrilous.

    Lalage's Lovers

    George A. Birmingham

  • His paper was not wholly the sort of scurrilous organ it has been shown to be.

    Pickwickian Studies

    Percy Fitzgerald

  • In Grundtvig, the taunting degenerates into a scurrilous tirade.

    The Translations of Beowulf

    Chauncey Brewster Tinker


British Dictionary definitions for scurrilous

scurrilous

adjective
  1. grossly or obscenely abusive or defamatory
  2. characterized by gross or obscene humour
Derived Formsscurrility (skəˈrɪlɪtɪ) or scurrilousness, nounscurrilously, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin scurrīlis derisive, from scurra buffoon
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

Word Origin and History for scurrilous

adj.

"using such language as only the licence of a buffoon can warrant" [Johnson], 1570s, from scurrile "coarsely joking" (c.1500, implied in scurrility), from Latin scurrilis "buffoonlike," from scurra "fashionable city idler, man-about-town," later "buffoon." According to Klein, "an Etruscan loan-word." Related: Scurrilously; scurrilousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper