Main definitions of scoff in English

: scoff1scoff2

scoff1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Speak to someone or about something in a scornfully derisive or mocking way.

    with direct speech ‘“You, a scientist?” he scoffed’
    ‘department officials scoffed at the allegations’
    • ‘Scott seems to scoff at talent identification.’
    • ‘When I asked a friend if he thought he was able to still be friends with the love of his life because of that very fact, he scoffed at me.’
    • ‘"A meek little mouse, she is, " the dark-haired man scoffed.’
    • ‘I scoffed at the idea of such a thing when it first struck me, just as many of you are scoffing now.’
    • ‘The man scoffed in disgust, and threw the paper away, walking on brusquely.’
    • ‘I scoffed at him, nudging him with my foot, and he lashed out at me.’
    • ‘I believe hardcore fisherman may scoff at this time of day, thinking that you have to be up at the crack of dawn to make the best of it.’
    • ‘And while social programs are nothing to scoff at, the more mundane stuff, like where to go when you're 17 on a Friday night, is what most underagers are most concerned with.’
    • ‘Out of the corner of my eye I noted Patterson scoffing in disbelief.’
    • ‘The older generation, such as Aunt Olivia, tended to scoff at such suggestions.’
    • ‘Ten years ago, I would have scoffed at anybody who dared to speak such blasphemy.’
    • ‘Trent scoffed in complete disgust, though he wasn't really thinking about the price of the wine.’
    • ‘Matt silently scoffed under his breath, not moving from the bed.’
    • ‘She scoffed loudly and threw her hands in the air, clearly annoyed.’
    • ‘Throw in a road that twists all over the hill like a drunken sailor on leave, and you'll never scoff at a moped again.’
    • ‘The critics scoff, but we find this to be a clue.’
    • ‘At the time, North scoffed at the suggestion such a link existed.’
    • ‘He scoffed at college, saying that he'd made a lot of money and he hadn't even bothered to finish college.’
    • ‘We scoff at the notion that anybody would be taken in by such scams.’
    • ‘I think most people would scoff at the idea, and rightly so.’
    mock, deride, ridicule, sneer at, be scornful about, treat contemptuously, jeer at, jibe at, make fun of, poke fun at, laugh at, scorn, laugh to scorn, dismiss, pooh-pooh, make light of, belittle
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noun

  • 1An expression of scornful derision.

    • ‘Luckily I recovered with a scoff, the evil eye, and a quick getaway.’
    • ‘Jesse let out a sound - half a scoff, half a snort - and gave me a look.’
    • ‘She looked up and glared at me hard for a moment before she shook her head and gave a soft amused noise that was halfway towards being a disbelieving scoff.’
    • ‘Rachel forced a scoff as she turned for the pink canopy bed.’
    • ‘In the background, behind the murmuring and brash conversations that were held in the room, the faint lyrics of a rock song he had heard before were drowned out by the scoffs, taunts and laughing of the foul company the tavern housed.’
    • ‘And with a scoff to the gentleman, wherever he was, Mitch turned around and headed for the garage to get back to that overheating engine.’
    • ‘Shane's upper lip curled up and she emitted a scoff of disgust.’
    • ‘Her converser let out a quick breath, almost a scoff.’
    • ‘It was more like a harsh bark of a scoff, rather than a laugh.’
    • ‘With a scoff, she answered, ‘Always the suspicious one.’’
    • ‘I usually would give such a thing a scoff and forget about it.’
    • ‘Shaking his head with a scoff, he answered, ‘Fine.’’
    • ‘I was about to say something when Austin interrupted by letting out a loud scoff.’
    • ‘Epitomizing Sokurov's ambivalence, the narrator scoffs at the film's climactic (or should I say inevitable?) ballroom dance yet expresses regret at having to leave.’
    • ‘William exhaled resignedly and let out a mild scoff.’
    • ‘I don't even think before I manage a scoff, and I scrunch up my nose.’
    • ‘Such a response only won her a scoff from the woman.’
    • ‘She let out a loud scoff and flipped her ponytail over her shoulder, beginning to carelessly check her hair for split ends.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, these opinion-oriented authors have gotten nothing but scoffs from friends of mine.’
    • ‘All I could do was let out a scoff with a smile.’
    1. 1.1archaic An object of ridicule.
      ‘his army was the scoff of all Europe’

Origin

Middle English (first used as a noun in the sense ‘mockery, scorn’): perhaps of Scandinavian origin.

Pronunciation

Main definitions of scoff in English

: scoff1scoff2

scoff2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Eat (something) quickly and greedily.

    ‘she scoffed down several chops’
    Compare with scarf
    ‘a lizard scoffing up insects’
    • ‘Hedge your bets by planting different species, as it is unlikely that the birds will scoff the lot.’
    • ‘However, she says the single life does have its advantages including being able to scoff junk food in front of the TV and have the privacy of your own bathroom.’
    • ‘I'm only responsible for scoffing the plain ones.’
    • ‘Luckily, Carrie is well practised at disguising her vegetarianism and has been known to scoff hamburgers whole just to throw people off her scent.’
    • ‘It would be unwise to keep Koi if you live on the flight path of migrating osprey - they'll scoff the lot, as will herons.’
    • ‘I was to nervous to eat much, but I had watched them scoff their food down quickly as we made our way to the back door of the club.’
    • ‘As I don't, I scoffed the lot with a good deal of plain rice for mopping up.’
    • ‘He scoffed the rest of his appetizer as Wendy made her way to the kitchen.’
    • ‘As if to prove the point, she whipped out a large pile of ham and scoffed the lot.’
    • ‘But what makes this weekend off so much more special than the rest is the fact that we have an excuse to scoff countless numbers of chocolate Easter eggs.’
    • ‘I'm ashamed to say it now, but in a moment of weakness I scoffed them as the plate swept past me on the way to your table.’
    • ‘Igor was busy most of the time scoffing a hamburger, which he propped up on the music stand before and after solos.’
    • ‘Kerri's appetite was well and truly back as she scoffed them and talked to Danielle about girly things.’
    • ‘If the locals aren't scoffing ripe fruit and fresh pasta from the table they are lying flat out on it, getting a massage.’
    • ‘So, instead of eating a roll of Munchies I would scoff a handful of blueberries.’
    • ‘Crab risotto and rib-eye steaks are scoffed by families on holiday and hungry yachties.’
    • ‘She scoffed her food down quickly.’
    • ‘But I still detected some misgivings - and not only among the press corps scoffing moussaka between briefings.’
    • ‘You changed clothes when you got to the airlock on the Moon, but Adam planned to scoff his candies on the shuttle.’
    • ‘For the record I scoffed a tiny tub of blackcurrant so purple it sent my teeth mauve, and another of gooseberry and elderflower.’
    eat, devour, consume, guzzle, gobble, wolf down, polish off, finish off, gulp down, bolt
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noun

informal
  • Food.

    • ‘A celebrity in a search of a fast buck can do a lot worse than lend their name to a range of scoff.’
    • ‘You can't have the Michelangelo of scoff waving to all corners for ketchup.’
    food, fare, eatables, refreshments
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 18th century (as a verb): originally a variant of Scots and dialect scaff. The noun is from Afrikaans schoff, representing Dutch schoft ‘quarter of a day’, (by extension) ‘meal’.

Pronunciation