- to write or draw in a sprawling, awkward manner: He scrawled his name hastily across the blackboard.
- to write awkwardly, carelessly, or illegibly.
- awkward, careless, or illegible handwriting.
- something scrawled, as a letter or a note.
Origin of scrawl
Examples from the Web for scrawl
Artists would use pen names and scrawl them across subway cars, walls, shops, and office buildings.Catch Him If You Can: Reliving Banksy’s New York Invasion
November 14, 2014
I felt the power in my fingernails to brand the earth with my own scrawl.Making Lincoln Sexy: Jerome Charyn’s Fictional President
March 6, 2014
That's Joe's own scrawl, and there ain't a worse from this to himself.A Day's Ride
Charles James Lever
The senator's son read the scrawl, and his face showed his disgust.Dave Porter At Bear Camp
Then, at last, he had gathered strength enough to scrawl these lines.Sacrifice
Stephen French Whitman
He preferred to scrawl his initials to any typewritten letter which I prepared.The Minister of Evil
William Le Queux
You must not mind the badness of my scrawl: and let me hear from you.Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third
The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
- to write or draw (signs, words, etc) carelessly or hastily; scribble
- careless or scribbled writing, drawing, or marks
Word Origin and History for scrawl
1610s, "write or draw untidily," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Middle English scrawlen "spread out the limbs, sprawl" (early 15c.), which possibly is an alteration of sprawlen (see sprawl (v.)) or crawl (v.). Related: Scrawled; scrawling. The noun is recorded from 1690s, from the verb. Meaning "bad handwriting" is from 1710.