Verb from Middle English scornen, schornen, alteration of Old French escharnir, from Vulgar Latin *escarnire, from Proto-Germanic *skarnjan, which could be from *skeraną (“to shear”), or possibly related to *skarną (“dung, filth”). Noun from Old French escarn (cognate with Portuguese escárnio, Spanish escarnio and Italian scherno).
scorn (third-person singular simple present scorns, present participle scorning, simple past and past participle scorned)
- (transitive) To feel or display contempt or disdain for something or somebody; to despise.
- 1871, C. J. Smith, Synonyms Discriminated
- We scorn what is in itself contemptible or disgraceful.
- (transitive) To reject, turn down.
He scorned her romantic advances.
- (transitive) To refuse to do something, as beneath oneself.
She scorned to show weakness.
- (intransitive) To scoff, to express contempt.
to feel contempt or disdain for something or somebody
- Japanese: 蔑む (ja) (sagesumu), 見下す (mikudasu)
- Kazakh: елемеу (elemew), елемеу, елең қылмау (elemew, eleñ qılmaw)
- Maori: whakareko, tokoreko
- Old English: ǣwan
- Polish: gardzić (pl), lekceważyć (pl)
- Portuguese: desprezar (pt), desdenhar (pt), menosprezar (pt)
- Quechua: alqochay
- Romanian: disprețui (ro)
- Russian: презира́ть (ru) (prezirátʹ), относи́ться с пренебрежением (otnosítʹsja s prenebreženijem)
- Slovak: opovrhovať
- Spanish: despreciar (es) m, desdeñar (es), menospreciar (es)
- Vietnamese: khinh bỉ (vi), khinh miệt (vi)
to refuse to do something, as beneath oneself
to scoff or express contempt
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
scorn (countable and uncountable, plural scorns)
- (uncountable) Contempt or disdain.
- (countable) A display of disdain; a slight.
- 1685, John Dryden, The Despairing Lover
- Every sullen frown and bitter scorn / But fanned the fuel that too fast did burn.
- (countable) An object of disdain, contempt, or derision.
- Scorn is often used in the phrases pour scorn on and heap scorn on.
c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene v], page 150:
The Cry is ſtill, they come: our Caſtles ſtrength / Will laugh a Siedge to ſcorne
1967, John Berryman, Berryman's Sonnets, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux:
Rain of tears, real, mist of imagined scorn
- Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.
- Roberts, Edward A. (2014) A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Spanish Language with Families of Words based on Indo-European Roots, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN