There are 2 main definitions of scoff in English:

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scoff 1

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[no object]
Speak to someone or about something in a scornfully derisive or mocking way: Patrick professed to scoff at soppy love scenes in films [with direct speech]: ‘You, a scientist?’ he scoffed
More example sentences
  • Ten years ago, I would have scoffed at anybody who dared to speak such blasphemy.
  • 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.
  • He scoffed at college, saying that he'd made a lot of money and he hadn't even bothered to finish college.
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;
informal thumb one's nose at, take the mickey out of
Australian/New Zealand informal poke mullock at
British vulgar slang take the piss out of
rare fleer at, bite one's thumb at, scout at


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1An expression of scornful derision: scoffs of disbelief
More example sentences
  • Shaking his head with a scoff, he answered, ‘Fine.’
  • With a scoff, she answered, ‘Always the suspicious one.’
  • 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.
1.1 archaic An object of ridicule: his army was the scoff of all Europe


Pronunciation: /ˈskɒfə/
Example sentences
  • I hope the pessimists, cynics and scoffers will not have the last word on this.
  • She, like me, had been a scoffer, a cynic, and an unbeliever and had put her faith in the wretched medical con-artists.
  • The array of cheap food and drink deals ensures a steady stream of post-5pm quaffers and scoffers, and umpteen large-screen televisions in the rear lounge have established it as one of the city's most popular hubs for sports fans.
Pronunciation: /ˈskɒfɪŋli/
Example sentences
  • Invariably, when fed this line, he would sort of snort through his nose scoffingly, and bid Rich tell him no more.
  • There are actually a bunch, seventeen on my version in fact, ranging in quality from scoffingly angst-ridden to the creepingly draggy.
  • And when Tyndale and the others scoffingly call More ‘a poet,’ they are not just accusing him of making things up, as he does in Utopia, but also explaining why he is in the grip of such mad fantasies as Purgatory.


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

Words that rhyme with scoff

boff, cough, doff, far-off, off, quaff, roll-on roll-off, telling-off, toff, trough
Definition of scoff in:
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There are 2 main definitions of scoff in English:

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scoff 2 Line breaks: scoff


[with object]
Eat (something) quickly and greedily: he can scoff a cannelloni faster than you can drink a pint
More example sentences
  • She scoffed her food down quickly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
informal put away, nosh, get outside of, pack away, demolish, shovel down, stuff (down), stuff one's face with, stuff oneself with, pig oneself on, pig out on, sink, get one's laughing gear round
British informal gollop, shift
North American informal scarf (down/up), snarf (down/up), inhale


[mass noun] Back to top  
Food: ice cream was seen as suitable scoff to keep the under-tens quiet
More example sentences
  • You can't have the Michelangelo of scoff waving to all corners for ketchup.
  • A celebrity in a search of a fast buck can do a lot worse than lend their name to a range of scoff.
informal grub, nosh, chow, eats, feed
British informal tuck
North American informal chuck
archaic victuals, vittles, meat


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'.

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