Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[skur-uh-luh s, skuhr-] /ˈskɜr ə ləs, ˈskʌr-/
grossly or obscenely abusive:
a scurrilous attack on the mayor.
characterized by or using low buffoonery; coarsely jocular or derisive:
a scurrilous jest.
Origin of scurrilous
First recorded in 1570-80; scurrile + -ous
Related forms
scurrilously, adverb
scurrilousness, noun
1. vituperative, insulting, offensive. 2. vulgar. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
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
  • This fellow writes in the most scurrilous newspapers; you have told me so yourself.

    A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen
British Dictionary definitions for scurrilous


grossly or obscenely abusive or defamatory
characterized by gross or obscene humour
Derived Forms
scurrility (skəˈrɪlɪtɪ), scurrilousness, noun
scurrilously, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for scurrilous

"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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for scurrilous

Word Value for scurrilous

Scrabble Words With Friends