Definition of scruffy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈskrəfē/

adjective (scruffier, scruffiest)

Shabby and untidy or dirty: dressed in scruffy jeans and a baggy T-shirt
More example sentences
  • He was looking down, he was scruffy, he had dirty jeans and he was not on this planet.
  • He's dressed in scruffy jeans and a faded biker jacket, talking in quiet, understated tones.
  • If the jeans were baggy and scruffy, the whole outfit would be unbalanced.
shabby, worn, down-at-heel, down-at-the-heel(s), ragged, tattered, mangy, dirty;
untidy, unkempt, bedraggled, messy, disheveled, ill-groomed



Pronunciation: /ˈskrəfəlē/
Example sentences
  • A woman is approached in the street by a scruffily dressed youth who opens his mouth - and asks for directions to the local mosque.
  • His bag and jacket were shiny, his top button done up, his tie scruffily fitted.
  • This resulted in a situation where the higher up the management ladder you are, the more scruffily you dress at work.


Pronunciation: /ˈskrəfēnəs/
Example sentences
  • But I think people love that scruffiness, that roughness.
  • The punters don't seem to mind the scruffiness.
  • So aren't the protestations of terminal scruffiness and aw-shucks fallibility just a little disingenuous?


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'covered with scurf'): from scruff 'scurf', variant of scurf, + -y1. The sense 'shabby' dates from the late 19th century.

Words that rhyme with scruffy

fluffy, huffy, puffy, roughie, roughy, snuffy, stuffy, toughie

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: scruff·y

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