Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To reject disdainfully or contemptuously; scorn. See Synonyms at refuse1.
  • transitive v. To kick at or tread on disdainfully.
  • intransitive v. To reject something contemptuously.
  • n. A contemptuous rejection.
  • n. Archaic A kick.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To reject disdainfully; contemn; scorn.
  • v. To reject something by pushing it away with the foot.
  • v. To waste; fail to make the most of (an opportunity)
  • n. An act of spurning; a scornful rejection.
  • n. A kick; a blow with the foot.
  • n. Disdainful rejection; contemptuous treatment.
  • n. A body of coal left to sustain an overhanding mass.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kick; a blow with the foot.
  • n. Disdainful rejection; contemptuous treatment.
  • n. A body of coal left to sustain an overhanging mass.
  • intransitive v. To kick or toss up the heels.
  • intransitive v. To manifest disdain in rejecting anything; to make contemptuous opposition or resistance.
  • transitive v. To drive back or away, as with the foot; to kick.
  • transitive v. To reject with disdain; to scorn to receive or accept; to treat with contempt.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To kick against; kick; drive back or away with the foot.
  • To strike against.
  • To reject with disdain; scorn to receive or consort with; treat with contempt.
  • To kick.
  • To dash the foot against something: light on something unexpectedly; stumble.
  • To dash; rush.
  • To manifest disdain or contempt in rejecting anything; make contemptuous opposition; manifest contempt or disdain in resistance.
  • To spur.
  • n. A blow with the foot; a kick.
  • n. A stumble; a fall.
  • n. Disdainful rejection; contemptuous treatment.
  • n. In mining, one of the narrow pillars or connections left between the holings, and not cut away until just before the withdrawal of the sprags.
  • n. A spur.
  • n. A piece of wood having one end inserted in the ground, and the other nailed at an angle to a gate-post, for the purpose of strengthening or supporting it.
  • n. An evil spirit.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. reject with contempt

Etymologies

Middle English spurnen, from Old English spurnan; see sperə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English spurnen, spornen, from Old English spurnan ("to strike against, kick, spurn, reject; stumble"), from Proto-Germanic *spurnanan (“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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Readdy did not "spurn" the offer for imagery - he simply did not pursue it.

    NASA Watch: Keith Cowing: December 2003 Archives

  • Committee lowered the Federal Reserve Interest Rate during the early '90's to "spurn" the economy out of the then post Gulf War recession.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Deal Journal Bostock's Letter to Shareholders Yahoo's Bostock Letter — Reading Between the Lines Mr. Bostock, who helped spurn Microsoft Corp.'s 2008 bid to buy Yahoo for more than twice it's worth today, said in a statement the moves will help speed the company's transformation under new Chief Executive Scott Thompson , the former president of eBay's Pay Pal unit hired by Yahoo last month.

    Yahoo Chairman Out in Shake-Up

  • Many of the Serim have hidden from the outside world, choosing to spurn its evil, licentious ways.

    My Fair Succubi

  • His "noble" act is to spurn Marcia who remains in love and dedicated to him.

    Lloyd I. Sederer, MD: It's Not The Illness That Stands To Destroy You

  • He professed to have veered from the "old, foul road" down which language must drag itself, but is it not possible that what he was turning from was precisely his love of language, a luxury that his ascetic soul felt obliged to spurn?

    Banville on Beckett: Non-Words or Word Storms?

  • In the campaign-finance case, she dismissed complaints from privately financed candidates about public funds going to rival candidates, saying "they could have received but chose to spurn the same financial assistance."

    Kagan Gives New Life to Court's Liberal Wing

  • In an article on page three, September 2, headed Science stars spurn Oxford's spires, we said that Professor Roy Anderson had rejected the accusation by a female colleague at Oxford University that he had said she had gained her job through an alleged relationship with a senior scientist.

    Corrections and clarifications

  • Ladies may spurn him, but standup fans should make a date.

    Stephen Merchant: Hello Ladies – review

  • I believe our Constitution is flexible enough to permit me to continue to drink vodka martinis and to spurn original gin.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A Better Question

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