[skawrn-fuh l]


full of scorn; derisive; contemptuous: He smiled in a scornful way.

Origin of scornful

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at scorn, -ful
Related formsscorn·ful·ly, adverbscorn·ful·ness, nounun·scorn·ful, adjectiveun·scorn·ful·ly, adverbun·scorn·ful·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scornful

Contemporary Examples of scornful

Historical Examples of scornful

  • Why then, you are to put off that scornful look, and hear what Mr. Solmes has to say to you.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • She was exactly the same as when they had parted, just as handsome, just as scornful, just as repressed.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • She repelled my mocking smile with a glance of scornful indignation.

  • Why should people be so scornful of us who stand on our heads?

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • She turned towards him quickly, and with a scornful look and flashing eyes.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

Word Origin and History for scornful

mid-14c.; see scorn (n.) + -ful. Scorny was 19c. U.S. colloquial. Related: Scornfully; scornfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper