Definitions

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

  • adj. Given to the use of vulgar, coarse, or abusive language; foul-mouthed.
  • adj. Expressed in vulgar, coarse, and abusive language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. given to vulgar verbal abuse; foul-mouthed
  • adj. coarse, vulgar, abusive, or slanderous

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Using the low and indecent language of the meaner sort of people, or such as only the license of buffoons can warrant.
  • adj. Containing low indecency or abuse; mean; foul; vile; obscenely jocular.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Using or given to the use of low and indecent language; scurril; indecently or grossly abusive or railing.
  • Containing low indecency or abuse; foul; vile: as, scurrilous language.
  • Opprobrious; abusive; offensive.
  • Synonyms Ribald, blackguard, indecent, coarse, vulgar, gross.

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

  • adj. expressing offensive reproach

Etymologies

From Latin scurrilis ("buffoon-like"), from scurra ("a buffoon"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • You know, he also wants to talk about it obviously politically because there's been a lot of these, what he calls scurrilous e-mails out there about him being a supposed Muslim.

    CNN Transcript Jun 10, 2008

  • And, you know, clearly, an attempt by the Obama campaign to put an end to what he calls scurrilous attacks here.

    CNN Transcript Jan 22, 2008

  • But, before I could even get to it, he wanted to bring it up, and, clearly, an attempt by the Obama campaign to put an end to what he calls scurrilous attacks here.

    CNN Transcript Jan 22, 2008

  • The claims were described as "scurrilous" by Lilian Foggo, his widow, and strongly denied by his colleagues on the original project.

    Heritage or horror? Row over Broadgate demolition plan

  • When the intemperate heats of the spirit break out in scurrilous and abusive language, then the troubled sea casts forth mire and dirt.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • The Lieberman -- at the time, the Lieberman campaign suggested the site was attacked by supporters of the Lamont campaign, charges that Ned Lamont called scurrilous, and the campaign demanded an apology.

    CNN Transcript Sep 5, 2006

  • -- The answer to that question I will borrow from the satire itself, as you choose to term your scurrilous lampoon.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 330, April 1843

  • When a reporter from a local paper asked Jones how he felt about being called scurrilous, he responded with a phrase we can't repeat, save that it involved Gingrich, "and the horse he rode in on."

    News

  • Jonathon Adler at VC, however, noted Dellinger's op-ed calling the scurrilous attack "shameful".

    Simple Justice

  • The Kerik associate, Anthony Modafferi, who served as trustee of his legal defence fund, had written what the judge described as scurrilous internet articles attacking the prosecutors.

    Top stories from Times Online

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