[ skrawl ]
/ skrɔl /

verb (used with object)

to write or draw in a sprawling, awkward manner: He scrawled his name hastily across the blackboard.

verb (used without object)

to write awkwardly, carelessly, or illegibly.


awkward, careless, or illegible handwriting.
something scrawled, as a letter or a note.

Origin of scrawl

1605–15; perhaps to be identified with late Middle English scraule to sprawl, crawl (blend of sprawl and crawl1)

Related forms

un·scrawled, adjectiveun·scrawl·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scrawl

British Dictionary definitions for scrawl


/ (skrɔːl) /


to write or draw (signs, words, etc) carelessly or hastily; scribble


careless or scribbled writing, drawing, or marks

Derived Forms

scrawler, nounscrawly, adjective

Word Origin for scrawl

C17: perhaps a blend of sprawl and crawl 1
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