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verb (used with object)
  1. to reject with disdain; scorn.
  2. to treat with contempt; despise.
  3. to kick or trample with the foot.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to show disdain or contempt; scorn something.
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  1. disdainful rejection.
  2. contemptuous treatment.
  3. a kick.
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Origin of spurn

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English spurnen, Old English spurnan; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German spurnan, Old Norse sporna to kick; akin to Latin spernere to put away; (noun) Middle English: a kick, contemptuous stroke, derivative of the noun
Related formsspurn·er, nounout·spurn, verb (used with object)un·spurned, adjective


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1. See refuse1. 6. contumely.


1. accept.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for spurn


  1. to reject (a person or thing) with contempt
  2. (when intr, often foll by against) archaic to kick (at)
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  1. an instance of spurning
  2. archaic a kick or thrust
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Derived Formsspurner, noun

Word Origin

Old English spurnan; related to Old Norse sporna, Old High German spurnan, Latin spernere to despise, Lithuanian spiriu to kick
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 spurn


Old English spurnan "to kick (away), reject, scorn, despise," from Proto-Germanic *spurnanan (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German spurnan, Old Frisian spurna, Old Norse sporna "to kick"), from PIE root *spere- "ankle" (cf. Middle Dutch spoor "track of an animal," Greek sphyron "ankle," Latin spernere "to reject, spurn," Sanskrit sphurati "kicks," Middle Irish seir "heel"). Related: Spurned; spurning.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper