Definition of spurn in English:



  • 1 Reject with disdain or contempt.

    ‘he spoke gruffly, as if afraid that his invitation would be spurned’
    • ‘Kylie Minogue might be spurning them these days, but Dolce and Gabbana are favourites in paparazzi-land.’
    • ‘At the age of 69, Val Hobson has become an eco-warrior - spurning the habits of a law-abiding lifetime to be on the front line of a campaign to prevent a mobile mast being built near her home.’
    • ‘Relations with her father - already verging on the poisonous - worsened further when, spurning his suggestion of a career in netball, she decided to study at the Drama Centre in north London.’
    • ‘Milan's models strutted through the first day of fashion week on Sunday but the twice-yearly festival got off to a muted start with the influential faces of fashion spurning the opening.’
    • ‘Arun is a sensitive young man from the capital who spurns a comfortable inheritance and takes a job teaching in a rural elementary school, in the very heartland of the insurgency.’
    • ‘She was accused of being superior and distant - because she spurns requests to appear on television or model for magazine covers.’
    • ‘Based on the French novella by Prosper Merimee and the popular opera by Georges Bizet, Carmen is the story of a fiery Spanish gypsy who spurns her obsessive soldier lover for a flashy bullfighter.’
    • ‘In spurning the invitation by Government to discuss the matter, the union leaders have lost an opportunity to find an answer to their grievances without causing disruption to the system.’
    • ‘He spurns the notion that modernization as such is the ticket to emancipation and happiness.’
    • ‘She has spurned potential lovers and judged those close to her harshly.’
    • ‘He spurns her advances and tragedy ensues.’
    • ‘If America spurns global agreements on climate change, the whole planet is more vulnerable.’
    • ‘Moz also looks elsewhere for love but his advances are spurned.’
    • ‘He has heightened his isolation by spurning diplomatic initiatives from African neighbours and launching a crackdown on local media.’
    refuse, decline, say no to, reject, rebuff, scorn, turn down, turn away, repudiate, treat with contempt, disdain, look down one's nose at, despise
    snub, slight, disown, jilt, repulse, repel, dismiss, brush off, turn one's back on
    give someone the cold shoulder, cold-shoulder, ignore, look right through
    turn one's nose up at, give someone the brush-off, tell someone where to get off, put down, freeze out, stiff-arm, kick in the teeth
    knock back
    give someone the bum's rush, give someone the brush
    give someone the go-by
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic Strike, tread, or push away with the foot.
      ‘with one touch of my feet, I spurn the solid Earth’
      • ‘She threw the money down upon the ground, and spurned it with her foot.’


  • An act of spurning.

    ‘it is a spurn of God's sovereignty, and a slight of his goodness’


Old English spurnan, spornan; related to Latin spernere to scorn; compare with spur.