[ skuhf ]
See synonyms for: scuffscuffing 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.

  1. to mar by scraping or hard use, as shoes or furniture.

  2. Chiefly Scot.

    • to brush against, as in passing.

    • 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.

  1. to be or become marred or scratched by scraping or wear.

  2. (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.

  1. 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

Words Nearby scuff Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use scuff in a sentence

  • You need some scuff marks from the great merry-go-round we call life.

  • scuff it up, patinate it, so that it feels more physically, viscerally real, and a little less perfect.

    'Harry Potter' for Grown-Ups | Jane Ciabattari | August 10, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • There was a pause during which she continued to scuff the curbstone with her shoe, Jane likewise scuffing the fence-picket.

    Seventeen | Booth Tarkington
  • What joy it was to us to scuff through the painted fallen leaves and send them flying like showers of jewels before us!

    My Wife and I | Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • And you could scuff when you walked and pile up fallen leaves from the grass and roll in them.

    This Crowded Earth | Robert Bloch
  • Rose heard her through, and then very kindly informed her that "she was a fool to care for such a rough-scuff."

    The English Orphans | Mary Jane Holmes
  • They are like pebbles in our pathway; sometimes we never even see them, but carelessly scuff them aside as we walk.

    Joyce's Investments | Fannie E. Newberry

British Dictionary definitions for scuff


/ (skʌf) /

  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

  1. (tr) US to poke at (something) with the foot

  1. the act or sound of scuffing

  2. a rubbed place caused by scuffing

  1. a backless slipper

Origin of 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