[skawf, skof]
verb (used without object)
  1. 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)
  1. to mock at; deride.
  1. an expression of mockery, derision, doubt, or derisive scorn; jeer.
  2. 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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scoffers

Historical Examples of scoffers

  • These scoffers propose to discontinue the habit of swearing.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • He too turned upon the scoffers, but not as Labori had done before him.


    David Christie Murray

  • I was one of the critics, one of the scoffers, one of those who asked, 'What is it all about?'

    Booker T. Washington

    Emmett J. Scott and Lyman Beecher Stowe

  • He must simply baffle the scoffers by an inscrutable endurance.

    Robert Orange

    John Oliver Hobbes

  • His scoffers among the grandees of Europe began to do him honor.

British Dictionary definitions for scoffers


  1. (intr often foll by at) to speak contemptuously (about); express derision (for); mock
  2. (tr) obsolete to regard with derision
  1. an expression of derision
  2. 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


  1. to eat (food) fast and greedily; devour
  1. 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 scoffers



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