to speak or behave disrespectfully towards something or someone, often suggesting that it is ridiculous or unworthy of respect.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



mock, deride, jeer, sneer, ridicule, taunt, insult, belittle, scorn.


praise, applaud, commend, extol, respect, honor, admire, venerate.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun scoffer, scoffings, scoffing, scoffs, scoff, scoffers
Verb scoffing, scoff, scoffed, scoffs
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • When the expert spoke of the importance of such safety precautions, the company manager scoffed at him and completely ignored the expert’s advice.

  • The teenagers were trying to be funny by scoffing at the teacher’s attempts to have them focused in the classroom, but the teacher did not take kindly to their behavior.

  • The politician scoffed at the idea of increasing taxes for the sake of better healthcare and education, claiming that such decisions would only hurt the taxpayers.

  • Despite her colleague’s scoffing, Mary was confident in her proposal’s potential and persisted in her efforts to persuade her colleagues to support her plan.


The verb ‘scoff’ is commonly used to describe the act of expressing disdain or contempt towards something or someone. This can be done in a mocking, ridiculing, or insulting manner, often to belittle or undermine the target. To express this sentiment, one can use the verb ‘scoff’ in a sentence, such as “He scoffed at the idea of her becoming a writer,” or “The critics scoffed at the film’s artistic merit.”

The noun form of ‘scoff’ is ‘scoffer’, which refers to a person who engages in the act of scoffing. For example, “The young scoffer made fun of the teacher’s appearance,” or “The scoffer failed to see the value in the artist’s work.”

The word ‘scoff’ is derived from the Old Norse word ‘skopa,’ which means ’to mock’ or ’to ridicule.’ It has no prefix or suffix, and is used as a simple verb. However, the word can be modified by adding adverbs or prepositions to express the degree or manner of the scoffing, such as “She openly scoffed at his suggestion,” or “He sneeringly scoffed at the reporter’s question.”

Overall, ‘scoff’ is a versatile verb that can be used to express a range of negative emotions, from mild contempt to outright scorn. Its use in language reflects a common human tendency to belittle or criticize those we disagree with or find lacking in some way. As such, it remains a useful and relevant term in contemporary discourse.