Definition of scorn in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A feeling and expression of contempt or disdain for someone or something:

    ‘I do not wish to become the object of scorn’
    • ‘His passionate advocacy has earned him the love of coma-affected families, and the scorn of the medical profession in equal measure.’
    • ‘While the commercial provided exposure, it drew the scorn of genuine punkers.’
    • ‘She is an incredible artist who has endured public derision and scorn for well over a decade.’
    • ‘What I hope is the people of Gravesham show their scorn for him by not going to his show.’
    • ‘Such high-minded scorn for the '90s and the general affluence and calm they represented is an eminently understandable sentiment.’
    • ‘Beaten and bruised, he patiently endures the ridicule and scorn heaped upon him.’
    • ‘That they are able to pour out their scorn for the West is a rather good demonstration of the freedom of speech they enjoy.’
    • ‘He has the dubious distinction of being the first object of scorn for most people after they develop their literary palate beyond the 6th grade level.’
    • ‘As much as I valued the path of Eastern spirituality and meditation, I was uncomfortable with its subtle scorn for the physical world.’
    • ‘Whether online or off, the kind of accessible and widely read work that brings an academic public recognition is likely to draw the scorn and suspicion of his colleagues.’
    • ‘My voice was filled with scorn for him and his threats.’
    • ‘He reserves most of his scorn for the film-makers of his own generation who, as he sees it, betray their own talent.’
    • ‘The more I have come to feel this way the more I've tried not to express scorn for things that do not catch my attention but that obviously mean a great deal to others.’
    • ‘He reserves special scorn for academic leaders who have debased the academy by pretending that fields like hospitality and gaming studies have a place at university.’
    • ‘Tailin stiffened at the scorn in the woman's voice.’
    • ‘Even the junior senator from North Carolina felt obliged to express her scorn for these malefactors of great wealth.’
    • ‘As he read it, the scorn faded from his face, leaving him intent.’
    • ‘In many inner-city neighbourhoods, children emulate gangster culture and profess scorn for those who succeed in school.’
    • ‘In fact, the reason I remember this particular presentation at all is the scorn, contempt, and derision that followed.’
    • ‘I had taught him well; he showed no respect or scorn for the royal family.’
    contempt, derision, contemptuousness, disdain, derisiveness, scornfulness, mockery, sneering, scoffing
    contumely, despite
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    1. 1.1archaic [in singular] A person viewed with contempt or disdain:
      ‘a scandal and a scorn to all who look on thee’
    2. 1.2archaic [count noun] A statement or gesture indicating contempt:
      ‘I met with scoffs, I met with scorns’
      insult, sneer, jibe, cut, cutting remark, shaft, affront, slap in the face, slight, rebuff, brickbat, slur, scoff, jeer, taunt
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  • 1 Feel or express contempt or disdain for:

    ‘the minister scorned Labour's attempt to woo voters’
    • ‘She said everyone in the village scorns her and because of that, she does not have a place to stay.’
    • ‘He gained a reputation for honest in a government often scorned for corruption.’
    • ‘It's not so long since he was scorned by the scientific establishment after claiming he could produce a map of the human genome faster than anyone else.’
    • ‘Just suffice it to say that I have stood where you stand now - scorned by family members, labeled a black sheep.’
    • ‘It was his idea that all new Chelsea signings should have to sing a song in the dressing room on their first day, usually while being scorned and pelted with rubbish.’
    • ‘They are not second-class citizens to be scorned acrimoniously.’
    • ‘The Security Council was disdained and scorned as irrelevant.’
    • ‘I ask if being scorned by his old comrades-in-arms has saddened him.’
    • ‘He told the guard to reassure the girl that she was not being scorned and that no one would laugh at her.’
    • ‘They find that they are continuously judged and scorned by peers and adults when they wear their uniform.’
    • ‘If you had told me when I was the tender age of 15 that I would have this kind of life I would have laughed and scorned you.’
    • ‘If the right-wingers disdain Lincoln for being too aggressively antislavery, the left-wingers scorn him for not being antislavery enough.’
    • ‘Imagine sacrificing your son for someone else's sake, and not getting any credit, any appreciation for it, even being scorned and mocked for it.’
    • ‘The first five were friends from school teasing him in fun or scorning him with contempt.’
    • ‘The ticket man openly scorned me for not having reviewed Goodbye Lenin!’
    • ‘‘When we called for international action, we were often scorned, disregarded or disappointed,’ Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently recalled.’
    • ‘CEO's who were celebrating when the market was soaring are now being scorned by investors and investigated as well.’
    • ‘Soldiers, when not needed, are scorned and underpaid; when needed, praised and still underpaid.’
    • ‘I think what happened is that he would have shut his mouth if they had treated him right, but he was scorned, and so he told what he knew.’
    • ‘The foreign minister was particularly scorned for going to the opera on Sunday night and not turning up for work until 31 hours after the earthquake.’
    deride, be contemptuous about, hold in contempt, treat with contempt, heap scorn on, pour scorn on, be scornful about, look down on, look down one's nose at, disdain, curl one's lip at, mock, scoff at, sneer at, sniff at, jeer at, laugh at, laugh out of court
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    1. 1.1 Reject (something) in a contemptuous way:
      ‘a letter scorning his offer of intimacy’
      • ‘He weighed in the next day with a piece in which he scorned the very notion of scientific inquiry because of its inherent limitations.’
      • ‘They were store-bought, the kind my mother would have scorned.’
      • ‘The revelations about Dewar's astounding personal wealth belie the First Minister's image as a man who scorned the finer things in life and valued frugality and simplicity.’
      • ‘I put up a link recently to one of his articles about how business, profit and commerce generally seem to be decried and scorned by the intelligentsia.’
      • ‘I'm now deeply grateful for the teaching I once scorned.’
      • ‘After scorning the bright lights of Los Angeles for years in favour of the wilds of an 800-acre ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, he is suddenly Mr Hollywood.’
      • ‘Several speakers cried, and some angrily scorned Plan 2008's strategy, arguing there should be more concrete plans to diversify.’
      • ‘Traditionally, the high-minded have scorned public drinking as a bit uncouth, while pop counter-culturalists have viewed it as a bit uncool.’
      • ‘The party trumpets the corporate trade agenda, scorning efforts to build environmental and worker rights protections into trade accords.’
      • ‘In 1972, for the usual teen reasons, I scorned my parentally approved room and set up a base camp in a narrow basement corridor that led to the downstairs bathroom and a storage closet.’
      • ‘Kate quite likes a bit of Reality TV when she gets home, while Carl scorns the very idea.’
      • ‘But U.S. media coverage matched the bipartisan refusal by leaders in Congress to do anything but scorn the offer.’
      • ‘When I got there, I fell in love with the town that I had once scorned.’
      • ‘He scorns the idea that he has sold out to commercialism, feeling instead that it is his mission to make an art form he loves loved by others.’
      • ‘The ESPA made an effort to include art forms like comics and zines specifically because they've been scorned by the mainstream.’
      • ‘While scorned by most critics, the TV show attracted as many as 60 million US viewers between 1962 and 1971.’
      • ‘Despite scorning the idea that the culmination of scientific research is publications, he has authored several scientific papers.’
      • ‘Button mashing is generally scorned by hard-core gamers, but I argue that it's actually a valid learning technique.’
      • ‘Old stories that are often scorned as pure figments of the imagination have a habit of coming home to roost.’
      • ‘She scorns his gallant language, and constantly rebuffs his advances.’
      • ‘Initially they scorned the notion of accepting ads.’
      • ‘Hogeland's idea was scorned or ignored in the larger, more prosperous metropolitan centers in the 1890s.’
      spurn, rebuff, reject, ignore, shun, snub
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    2. 1.2[no object, with infinitive] Refuse to do something because one is too proud:
      ‘at her lowest ebb, she would have scorned to stoop to such tactics’
      • ‘When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death - that is heroism.’
      • ‘As time went on new rules were drafted, pitches were developed, the games began to draw the attention of people who at one time would have scorned to be associated with them.’
      refuse to, refrain from, not lower oneself to
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  • pour scorn on

    • Speak with contempt or mockery of:

      ‘he poured scorn on the Conservatives' pre-election assurances’
      • ‘The group poured scorn on the idea that a merger between Bank of Ireland and AIB would be good for the country, saying it was ‘fantasy’.’
      • ‘There exists a grave mistake where people think Westernisation is development and pour scorn on all who try to uphold and espouse our local traditions.’
      • ‘I really do not want to discourage, or to pour scorn on, Mr Hide's hopes in that regard.’
      • ‘This was a phrase that Wallis would pour scorn on when he attacked Hobbes' ideas.’
      • ‘She pours scorn on plans to capitalise on the growing movement for father's rights.’
      • ‘Many in the arts industry reacted with horror to such an idea, pouring scorn on the author.’
      • ‘I considered calling in the authorities, but a friend of mine pours scorn on anyone who summons the police for a problem that they could solve themselves.’
      • ‘In fact, he pours scorn on the idea that any such thing could really exist.’
      • ‘Without being triumphalist or pouring scorn on media forecasts, he admitted the build-up to the game worked out perfectly for him.’
      • ‘Doubters and critics have poured scorn on our ambitious plans or urged speed when a more thoughtful approach was deserved and required.’
      disparage, denigrate, run down, deprecate, depreciate, downgrade, play down, belittle, trivialize, minimize, make light of, treat lightly, undervalue, underrate, underestimate
      scoff at, sneer at, laugh at, laugh off, mock, ridicule, deride, dismiss, scorn, cast aspersions on, discredit
      do down, do a hatchet job on, take to pieces, pull apart, pick holes in, drag through the mud, have a go at, hit out at, knock, slam, pan, bash, bad-mouth, pooh-pooh, look down one's nose at
      rubbish, slate, slag off
      hold cheap
      asperse, derogate, misprize, minify
      deride, be contemptuous about, hold in contempt, treat with contempt, heap scorn on, be scornful about, look down on, look down one's nose at, disdain, curl one's lip at, mock, scoff at, sneer at, sniff at, jeer at, laugh at, laugh out of court
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Middle English: shortening of Old French escarn (noun), escharnir (verb), of Germanic origin.