From Middle English spurnen, spornen, from Old English spurnan (“to strike against, kick, spurn, reject; stumble”), from Proto-Germanic *spurnaną (“to tread, kick, knock out”), from Proto-Indo-European *sper-, *sperw- (“to twitch, push, fidget, be quick”). Cognate with Scots spurn (“to strike, push, kick”), German anspornen (“to spur on”), Icelandic sporna, spyrna (“to kick”), Latin spernō (“despise, distain, scorn”). Related to spur and spread.
- (transitive, intransitive) To reject disdainfully; contemn; scorn.
- to spurn at your most royal image
- What safe and nicely I might well delay / By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn.
- John Locke
- Domestics will pay a more cheerful service when they find themselves not spurned because fortune has laid them at their master's feet.
- (transitive) To reject something by pushing it away with the foot.
- I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
- (transitive) To waste; fail to make the most of (an opportunity)
2011 September 28, Tom Rostance, “Arsenal 2 - 1 Olympiakos”, in BBC Sport:
- Marouane Chamakh then spurned a great chance to kill the game off when he ran onto Andrey Arshavin's lofted through ball but shanked his shot horribly across the face of goal.
- (intransitive, obsolete) To kick or toss up the heels.
- The miller spurned at a stone.
- The drunken chairman in the kennel spurns.
spurn (plural spurns)
- An act of spurning; a scornful rejection.
- A kick; a blow with the foot.
- What defence can properly be used in such a despicable encounter as this but either the slap or the spurn?
- (obsolete) Disdainful rejection; contemptuous treatment.
- The insolence of office and the spurns / That patient merit of the unworthy takes.
- (mining) A body of coal left to sustain an overhanging mass.