[ skur-uh-luhs, skuhr- ]
See synonyms for: scurrilousscurrilousness on

  1. grossly or obscenely abusive: a scurrilous attack on the mayor.

  2. characterized by or using low buffoonery; coarsely jocular or derisive: a scurrilous jest.

Origin of scurrilous

First recorded in 1570–80; scurrile + -ous

Other words for scurrilous

Other words from scurrilous

  • scur·ril·ous·ly, adverb
  • scur·ril·ous·ness, noun

Words Nearby scurrilous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scurrilous in a sentence

  • Whether he was hurt or not, Wilkinson could talk, for he was pouring out scurrilous epithets.

    The Girl From Keller's | Harold Bindloss
  • At my first appearance, many of the young members affronted me highly, and demanded several scurrilous questions.

    Witch, Warlock, and Magician | William Henry Davenport Adams
  • In Grundtvig, the taunting degenerates into a scurrilous tirade.

    The Translations of Beowulf | Chauncey Brewster Tinker
  • The alleged oath is scurrilous, wicked and libelous and must be the invention of an impious and venomous mind.

    The Modern Ku Klux Klan | Henry Peck Fry
  • The old scurrilous ballads against the mass and relics were heard in the streets.

    History of the English People | John Richard Green

British Dictionary definitions for scurrilous


/ (ˈskʌrɪləs) /

  1. grossly or obscenely abusive or defamatory

  2. characterized by gross or obscene humour

Origin of scurrilous

C16: from Latin scurrīlis derisive, from scurra buffoon

Derived forms of scurrilous

  • scurrility (skəˈrɪlɪtɪ) or scurrilousness, noun
  • scurrilously, adverb

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