scoff

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English scof/skof, of Scandinavian origin. Compare Old Norse skaup, Danish skuffelse(noun)/skuffe(verb) and Old High German scoph.

Noun[edit]

scoff (plural scoffs)

  1. Derision; ridicule; a derisive or mocking expression of scorn, contempt, or reproach.
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene iv]:
      With scoffs, and scorns, and contumelious taunts.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard:
      'I believe you've killed that constable in the exercise of his duty, Sir; the man's dead,' said Lowe, sternly.
      'Another gloss on my text; why invade me like housebreakers?' said Dangerfield with a grim scoff.
    • 1852, The Dublin University Magazine (page 66)
      There were sneers, and scoffs, and inuendoes of some; prophecies of failure in a hundred ways []
  2. An object of scorn, mockery, or derision.
    • (Can we date this quote by Cowper and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      the scoff of withered age and beardless youth
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Verb[edit]

scoff (third-person singular simple present scoffs, present participle scoffing, simple past and past participle scoffed)

  1. (intransitive) To jeer; to laugh with contempt and derision.
    • (Can we date this quote by Goldsmith and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, / And fools who came to scoff, remained to pray.
  2. (transitive) To mock; to treat with scorn.
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Etymology 2[edit]

A variant, attested since the mid 19th century, of scaff, of uncertain origin.[1][2] Compare scarf (eat quickly).

Noun[edit]

scoff (countable and uncountable, plural scoffs)

  1. (South Africa and British Army slang) Food.
  2. (slang) The act of eating.
    • 2016, Fearne Cotton, Cook Happy, Cook Healthy
      Lunch for the busy has become a quick scoff of processed, terrifyingly orange couscous, []
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

scoff (third-person singular simple present scoffs, present participle scoffing, simple past and past participle scoffed)

  1. (Britain, slang) To eat food quickly.
  2. (South Africa and British Army slang) To eat.
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See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ scoff” in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.
  2. ^ scoff” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.