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scurrilous

[skur-uh-luh s, skuhr-] /ˈskɜr ə ləs, ˈskʌr-/
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
1570-1580
First recorded in 1570-80; scurrile + -ous
Related forms
scurrilously, adverb
scurrilousness, noun
Synonyms
1. vituperative, insulting, offensive. 2. vulgar.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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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

scurrilous

/ˈskʌrɪləs/
adjective
1.
grossly or obscenely abusive or defamatory
2.
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
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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
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