verb (used with object)

to reject with disdain; scorn.
to treat with contempt; despise.
to kick or trample with the foot.

verb (used without object)

to show disdain or contempt; scorn something.


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

Synonyms for spurn

1. See refuse1. 6. contumely.

Antonyms for spurn

1. accept.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spurned

Contemporary Examples of spurned

Historical Examples of spurned

  • But anger and fear soon got the mastery of him, and he spurned her from him.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • The other reading “dirmygei,” would mean he spurned, or dishonoured.

    Y Gododin


  • I grovelled at your feet and begged you—you spurned me as I do you now.

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer

    Cyrus Townsend Brady

  • I spurned him from me with violence because he had maligned your wife.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope

  • He spurned to correct himself and stalked on, leaving the judge gaping.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

British Dictionary definitions for spurned



to reject (a person or thing) with contempt
(when intr, often foll by against) archaic to kick (at)


an instance of spurning
archaic a kick or thrust
Derived Formsspurner, noun

Word Origin for spurn

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 spurned



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper