[ skawf, skof ]
/ skɔf, skɒf /

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.

Nearby words

  1. sclerotomy,
  2. sclerotylosis,
  3. sclerous,
  4. scm,
  5. scody,
  6. scoffer,
  7. scofflaw,
  8. scofield,
  9. scoinson arch,
  10. scoke

Origin of scoff

1300–50; Middle English scof; origin uncertain, but compare Old Norse skopa to scorn

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.

Related formsscoff·er, nounscoff·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scoffer

British Dictionary definitions for scoffer


/ (skɒf) /


(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


/ (skɒf) informal, mainly British /


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 scoffer
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper