See more synonyms for scuff on
verb (used with object)
  1. to scrape (something) with one's foot or feet.
  2. to rub or scrape (one's foot or feet) over something.
  3. to mar by scraping or hard use, as shoes or furniture.
  4. Chiefly Scot.
    1. to brush against, as in passing.
    2. to brush off; wipe off.
verb (used without object)
  1. to walk without raising the feet from the ground; shuffle.
  2. to scrape or rub one's foot back and forth over something.
  3. to be or become marred or scratched by scraping or wear.
  4. (of machine parts, as gear teeth) to creep from pressure and friction so that ridges appear transversely to the direction of wear.
  1. the act or sound of scuffing.
  2. a flat-heeled slipper with a full-length sole and an upper part covering only the front of the foot.
  3. a marred or scratched place on an item, as from scraping or wear.

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. 2018

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


  1. to scrape or drag (the feet) while walking
  2. to rub or scratch (a surface) or (of a surface) to become rubbed or scratched
  3. (tr) US to poke at (something) with the foot
  1. the act or sound of scuffing
  2. a rubbed place caused by scuffing
  3. 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