[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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scoffingly

Historical Examples of scoffingly

  • "Which means that you rather like to be cheated," said she, scoffingly.


    Charles James Lever

  • "They have the inheritance of his virtues," said I, scoffingly.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan

    Charles James Lever

  • "I was not aware how much I owed to your discretion, madam," said he, scoffingly.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • "As if we should wait to be starved," another of the students said scoffingly.

    A Girl of the Commune

    George Alfred Henty

  • Ruth and Helen were quite "young ladies" now, so Tom scoffingly said.

    Ruth Fielding At College

    Alice B. Emerson

British Dictionary definitions for scoffingly




(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 scoffingly



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