[skawf, skof]

verb (used without object)

to speak derisively; mock; jeer (often followed by at): If you can't do any better, don't scoff. Their efforts toward a peaceful settlement are not to be scoffed at.

verb (used with object)

to mock at; deride.


an expression of mockery, derision, doubt, or derisive scorn; jeer.
an object of mockery or derision.

Origin of scoff

1300–50; Middle English scof; origin uncertain, but compare Old Norse skopa to scorn
Related formsscoff·er, nounscoff·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for scoff

1. gibe. Scoff, jeer, sneer imply behaving with scornful disapproval toward someone or about something. To scoff is to express insolent doubt or derision, openly and emphatically: to scoff at a new invention. To jeer suggests expressing disapproval and scorn more loudly, coarsely, and unintelligently than in scoffing: The crowd jeered when the batter struck out. To sneer is to show by facial expression or tone of voice ill-natured contempt or disparagement: He sneered unpleasantly in referring to his opponent's misfortunes.

Antonyms for scoff

3. praise.


[skawf, skof]Slang.

verb (used with or without object)

to eat voraciously.


food; grub.

Origin of scoff

First recorded in 1855–60; earlier scaff; origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scoff

Contemporary Examples of scoff

Historical Examples of scoff

  • There was a sort of scoff in it which rightly or wrongly he took to himself.

    The Missionary

    George Griffith

  • P—— C—— began to scoff at what I had said, but C—— stopped him.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • People might scoff it; though for all that I shall work it out.

    Molly Bawn

    Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

  • It seemed to me to rend the darkness, to scoff at my heart and my sweet reasonableness!

    The Choice of Life

    Georgette Leblanc

  • Any mother who reads this will, I think, scoff at the notion; and yet I think it was so.


    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for scoff




(intr often foll by at) to speak contemptuously (about); express derision (for); mock
(tr) obsolete to regard with derision


an expression of derision
an object of derision
Derived Formsscoffer, nounscoffing, adjectivescoffingly, adverb

Word Origin for scoff

C14: probably from Scandinavian; compare Old Frisian skof mockery, Danish skof, skuf jest




to eat (food) fast and greedily; devour


food or rations

Word Origin for scoff

C19: variant of scaff food; related to Afrikaans, Dutch schoft quarter of the day, one of the four daily meals
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 scoff

mid-14c., "jest, make light of something;" mid-15c., "make fun of, mock," from the noun meaning "contemptuous ridicule" (c.1300), from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse skaup, skop "mockery, ridicule," Middle Danish skof "jest, mockery;" perhaps from Proto-Germanic *skub-, *skuf- (cf. Old English scop "poet," Old High German scoph "fiction, sport, jest, derision"), from PIE *skeubh- "to shove" (see shove (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper