verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)


Origin of scuff

First recorded in 1585–95, scuff is from the Middle Low German word schūven to shove Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scuff

Contemporary Examples of scuff

Historical Examples of scuff

  • I thought I ought to cough or scuff my feet or something, but it seemed too late for that.

  • "Oh, I'm too happy to scuff," and she kicked off the other rubber.


    Clara Louise Burnham

  • I scuff and stamp the snow away and pull it open with difficulty.

  • In the lightlessness, and above the wailing of the terrified people about them, they could hear the scuff of running feet.

    Second Sight

    Basil Eugene Wells

  • "You could scuff it and I could wear myself out cleanin', I suppose," retorted Jane.

British Dictionary definitions for scuff



to scrape or drag (the feet) while walking
to rub or scratch (a surface) or (of a surface) to become rubbed or scratched
(tr) US to poke at (something) with the foot


the act or sound of scuffing
a rubbed place caused by scuffing
a backless slipper

Word Origin for scuff

C19: probably of imitative origin
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 scuff

1768, "to walk (through or over something) without raising the feet," from Scottish, probably from a Scandinavian source related to Old Norse skufa, skyfa "to shove, push aside," from PIE *skeubh- "to shove" (see shove (v.)). Meaning "injure the surface of" is from 1897. Related: Scuffed; scuffing. As a noun from 1824.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper