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Scoff   Listen
noun
Scoff  n.  
1.
Derision; ridicule; mockery; derisive or mocking expression of scorn, contempt, or reproach. "With scoffs, and scorns, and contumelious taunts."
2.
An object of scorn, mockery, or derision. "The scoff of withered age and beardless youth."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Scoff" Quotes from Famous Books



... like me Win thee back again? With the joyous and the free Thou wilt scoff at pain. Spirit false! thou hast forgot All but those ...
— The Golden Treasury - Of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language • Various

... honest and illustrious of our comic writers at his proper value, permit our poet to say that he thinks he has deserved a glorious renown. First of all, 'tis he who has compelled his rivals no longer to scoff at rags or to war with lice; and as for those Heracles, always chewing and ever hungry, those poltroons and cheats who allow themselves to be beaten at will, he was the first to cover them with ridicule and to chase them from the stage;(1) he has ...
— Peace • Aristophanes

... they will go 'so,' I will be amused." He presented a top-like triangular appearance for one staggering second. The Tinleys did not go 'so' at all, and consequently they lost the satirical man, and were called 'the ballet-dancers' by Adela which thorny scoff her sisters permitted to pass about for a single day, and no more. The Tinleys were their match at epithets, and any low contention of this kind obscured for them the social summit they hoped to attain; the dream whereof was ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... he possibly could to appear better, that he might calm Ormond's anxiety, who stood waiting, with looks that showed his implicit faith in the oracle, and feeling that his own fate depended upon the next words that should be uttered. Let no one scoff at his easy faith: at this time Ormond was very young, not yet nineteen, and had no experience, either of the probability, or of the fallacy of medical predictions. After looking very grave and very wise, and questioning and cross-questioning a proper time, the surgeon said it was impossible ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... cries of "hog" or "wobbler" arise, remember that you are engaged in a sport and not in politics and that there is nothing really offensive in the terms. Finally, never scoff at the language used, and above all remember that what is one man's game may ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 146., January 21, 1914 • Various

... gazed at her much puzzled. He could not divine what her look signified—whether she spoke in earnest or in jest. There were purpose and feeling, banter and scoff, playing, ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... whom painters and sculptors have united in representing with the square brow of the people, the thick, naturally curling hair of the laborer, the muscles of the man of toil, the complexion of a fisherman; with the large nose, the shrewd, half-mocking lips that scoff at fate, the neck and shoulders of the strong man who cuts his wood to cook his dinner while the doctrinaires of ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... almost, had assembled in the square, despite the increasing rain. Many had come to scoff. What a farce it all would be! They did well, however, to wait two days! The rain was almost over. It would probably stop by the time ...
— The Torrent - Entre Naranjos • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... seemed truly desperate to Miles, as he and his comrades passed through the narrow streets, for no pitying eye, but many a frown, was cast on them by the crowds who stopped to gaze and scoff. ...
— Blue Lights - Hot Work in the Soudan • R.M. Ballantyne

... fashion to scoff at tales of the supernatural. On the contrary, there is a growing tendency to investigate subjects which were formerly pooh-poohed by most persons claiming to be well informed and capable of reasoning. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII, No. 29. August, 1873. • Various

... of anger suddenly reddened the Baron's face. He, who could scoff so calmly at the threat of the African Railways scandal, lost his balance and felt his blood boiling directly there was any question of Silviane, the last, imperious passion of his sixtieth year. "What! off?" said he. "But at the Ministry of Fine Arts they gave me almost ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... Wainamoinen, but be sure thou dost not invite wild Lemminkainen.' At this the servant asked why she was not to ask Lemminkainen, and Louhi answered: 'Lemminkainen must not come, for he loves war and strife, and would bring disturbance and sorrow to our feast, and scoff ...
— Finnish Legends for English Children • R. Eivind

... right has Arnold, what right has any dictionary, to define the word Irreverence for me? What their ideals are is nothing to me. So long as I reverence my own ideals my whole duty is done, and I commit no profanation if I laugh at theirs. I may scoff at other people's ideals as much as I want to. It is my right and my privilege. No man has any ...
— Quotations from the Works of Mark Twain • David Widger

... robber-chief now penitent and forgiven, together left the wilderness; within sight of the astonished band; some of whom were greatly touched by what they had seen and heard, while others were ready to scoff at what they called ...
— A Life of St. John for the Young • George Ludington Weed

... of the beautiful lake, which other people thought so lovely, was, in that mind which affected to scoff at the unseen, a ...
— J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 3 • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... Jule's views of me as a beau! They're hot enough to fry meat! Moreover, Jule tells all Sni-a-bar an' I'm at once a scoff an' jeer from the Kaw to the Gasconade. Jule's old pap washes out his rifle an' signs a pledge to plug me if ever ag'in I puts my hand on his front gate. As I su'gests, it rooins my social c'reer ...
— Wolfville Nights • Alfred Lewis

... the moment I thought you were fooling," he said in a tone of deep interest. "But I see now that you are quite in earnest, although the thing sounds so preposterous, a child might be expected to scoff at it. A man to get a magic belt; to put it on, and then to melt away? Why, the 'Seven-league Boots' couldn't be a greater tax on one's credulity. Sit down and tell me all ...
— Cleek, the Master Detective • Thomas W. Hanshew

... damsel turning right, "And what say you, my noble lord ?" quoth she. He taunting said, "I that am slow to fight Will follow far behind, the worth to see Of this your terrible and puissant knight," In scornful words this bitter scoff gave he. "Good reason," quoth the king, "thou come behind, Nor e'er compare thee with ...
— Jerusalem Delivered • Torquato Tasso

... "You scoff at Mr. King's portrait of me because he has not painted me as I am! What would you have said if he had painted me as I am? What would you say if Conrad Lagrange should write the truth about us and our kind, for his millions of readers? You sneer at me because I cannot uncover my shoulders in ...
— The Eyes of the World • Harold Bell Wright

... people don't give us credit for the worst? We are as innocent as children, yet do you think I have a shred of reputation left? Already I am supposed to be your mistress. Everybody knows; nobody cares. There are so many living that way here. If you told them we were innocent they would scoff at us. If you go they will say you ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... slaver; and the whole mouth, of yore so musical, grinning ghastly like the fleshless face of fear-painted death! Is that Voltaire? He who, with wit, thought to shear the Son of God of all His beams?—with wit, to loosen the dreadful fastenings of the Cross?—with wit, to scoff at Him who hung thereon, while the blood and water came from the wound in His blessed side?—with wit, to drive away those Shadows of Angels, that were said to have rolled off the stone from the mouth of the sepulchre of the resurrection?—with wit, ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... July. They were unjust to the eagle, we are unjust to the fleur-de-lys. It seems that we must always have something to proscribe! Does it serve any purpose to ungild the crown of Louis XIV., to scrape the coat of arms of Henry IV.? We scoff at M. de Vaublanc for erasing the N's from the bridge of Jena! What was it that he did? What are we doing? Bouvines belongs to us as well as Marengo. The fleurs-de-lys are ours as well as the N's. That is our patrimony. To what ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... two kinds of knowledge in use: the knowledge of arms, and the knowledge of books. The first is the scoff if the wise, whilst the ...
— The Talking Beasts • Various

... of our allies the affair may appear a trifle, father; and such white planters as cannot refuse to hear the tidings may scoff at them; but Jean Francais, a negro and a slave—is it possible that he makes light ...
— The Hour and the Man - An Historical Romance • Harriet Martineau

... raise, And his last faltering accents whispered praise. At church, with meek and unaffected grace, His looks adorned the venerable place: Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, And fools who came to scoff remained to pray. The service past, around the pious man, With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran; Even children followed with endearing wile, And plucked his gown to share the good man's smile. ...
— Six Centuries of English Poetry - Tennyson to Chaucer • James Baldwin

... mercurial and nervous temperament, and this fact perhaps may account for the anomaly of a mountain-boy who was a poor shot. Andy was the scoff of Persimmon Ridge. ...
— The Young Mountaineers - Short Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... shall aught refuse To Love of Love's fair dues;— That none dear Love shall scoff Or deem foul shame thereof;— That none shall traitor ...
— Collected Poems - In Two Volumes, Vol. II • Austin Dobson

... want,' said Narcisse. 'These cares of yours are only douceurs to your conceited heretical conscience, and a lengthening out of this miserable affair. You would scoff at the only real service you ...
— The Chaplet of Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... voyages of discovery. Such were some of the restrictions upon trade which Spain imposed upon her colonies, and which were followed up by others equally illiberal. Her commercial policy has been the scoff of modern times; but may not the present restrictions on trade, imposed by the most intelligent nations, be equally the wonder and the ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... cattle.... Our comic prints do an infinity of harm by their caricatures. Firstly, the caricatures are not true, for the crime in Ireland is not greater than that in England; secondly, they exasperate the people on both sides of the Channel, and they do no good. It is ill to laugh and scoff at a question which ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, February, 1886. - The Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 2, February, 1886. • Various

... clairvoyance, like all other truths, must slowly win its way to general acceptance. While large numbers of people still scoff at it, even as the world not so very long ago scoffed at hypnotism as a fantastic theory with no foundation in fact, there is nevertheless a large and rapidly growing number who personally know the truth about clairvoyance. There is every conceivable grade of ...
— Elementary Theosophy • L. W. Rogers

... connected therewith, had yet much to say in thy praise, when thou wast far inferior to what thou art now, why should true-born Englishmen, or those who call themselves so, turn up their noses at thee, and scoff thee at the present day, as I believe they do? But, let others do as they will, I, at least, who am not only an Englishman, but an East Englishman, will not turn up my nose at thee, but will praise and extol thee, ...
— The Pocket George Borrow • George Borrow

... not all, are commissioned with the rest, Heaven blesses, and Fortune aids the struggle: but where you send out a general and an empty decree and hopes from the hustings, nothing that you desire is done; your enemies scoff, and your allies die for fear of such an armament. For it is impossible—ay, impossible, for one man to execute all your wishes: to promise, [Footnote: Chares is particularly alluded to. The "promises of Chares" passed into a proverb.] and assert, and ...
— The Olynthiacs and the Phillippics of Demosthenes • Demosthenes

... scoff at amateur assistance, my boy," said Mr. Snyder in the benevolently paternal manner which had made a score of criminals refuse to believe him a detective until the moment when the handcuffs snapped on their wrists. "Crime investigation isn't an exact science. ...
— Death At The Excelsior • P. G. Wodehouse

... traitor allowed him to suffer. And there was the hate and scorn of man, the clamor for vengeance from society, the condemnation of the jury who had prejudged his case, the sneer of the paid advocate, the scoff of the gaping crowd, to whom the plea of noblesse oblige and stainless honor and perfect truth seemed only maudlin sentimentality and ...
— The Living Link • James De Mille

... yolk on'ly proc'u ra tor scoff mon'grel mi cros'co py nonce be troth' drom'e da ry cost proc'ess zo ol'o gy won't doc'ile al lop'a thy wont prov'ost au tom'a ton shone grov'e1 hy drop'a thy sloth fore'head La oc'o on forge joc'und pho tog'ra phy doth don'key in ter ...
— McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book • W. H. McGuffey

... on that kind of poetry, the incomparable author of Hudibras excepted. Mr. Cotton likewise translated several of Lucian's Dialogues into burlesque verse, printed in 8vo. London 1675, under the title of the Scoffer Scoff'd. In 1689 a volume of poems, with Mr. Cotton's name prefixed, was published in London: on these poems colonel Lovelace, Sir Alton Cockaine, Robert Harrick, esq; and Mr. Alexander Brome, complimented the author by copies of verses prefixed; ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Vol. III • Theophilus Cibber

... about an insufficient dietary is that it saps one's manhood. Few people whose circumstances have been uniformly comfortable realise that the stomach is the real seat of self-respect, courage, dignity, good manners, and the higher sort of honour, not to mention the spirits and emotions. Most would scoff at the suggestion, of course, feeling that it showed the low nature of the suggester. And the thing of it is they cannot possibly test the truth of it. For, given an average share of self-control and will-power, any educated person can starve him or herself for a week ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... respect, I believe it will always be found to receive it, even from those who may not assent to the dogma of its creed; and where such respect exists, it produces a decorum in manners and language often found wanting where it does not. Sectarians will not venture to rhapsodise, nor infidels to scoff, in the common intercourse of society. Both are injurious to the cause of rational religion, and to check ...
— Domestic Manners of the Americans • Fanny Trollope

... jeered at Angelo for marrying Rosalina but he began to hang about his discarded mistress again and scoff at her choice of a husband. But Rosalina gave him the cold shoulder, with the result that he became more and more insulting to Angelo. Finally one day our client made up his mind not to stand it any longer, secured a revolver, sought out Tomasso in his barber shop ...
— Tutt and Mr. Tutt • Arthur Train

... and drank and were merry: but amidst the glee of the cup They felt themselves tangled and caught, as when the net cometh up Before the folk of the firth, and the main sea lieth far off; And the laughter of lips they hearkened, and that hall-abider's scoff, As his face and his mocking eyes anigh to their faces drew, And their godhead was caught in the net, and no shift of creation they knew To escape from their man-like bodies; so great ...
— The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs • William Morris

... elsewhere. Let it burn. The cross, accounted still adorable, Is Christ's cross only!—if the thief's would earn Some stealthy genuflexions, we rebel; And here the impenitent thief's has had its turn, As God knows; and the people on their knees Scoff and toss back the crosiers stretched like yokes To press their heads down lower by degrees. So Italy, by means of these last strokes, Escapes the danger which preceded these, Of leaving captured hands in cloven oaks,— Of leaving ...
— The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume IV • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... concert audience will not raise it. If the audience were left to itself, it would permit late arrivals, and all the disturbance of chatter and movement. To twist the line of Goldsmith, those who came to pray would be at the mercy of those who came to scoff; and such mercy is merciless. The conductor stands in loco parentis. He is the advocatus angeli. He does for the audience what it would not do for itself. He protects it against its own fatal good-nature. He insists that it shall receive what it has paid for, and he will deal with disturbers ...
— Ars Recte Vivende - Being Essays Contributed to "The Easy Chair" • George William Curtis

... merely to make a scoff at religion, and have a joke to tell at the store for others to laugh at. Oh, I know your tricks well enough. I have striven to live peaceably with all men, but you have sorely tried me on various occasions. Whatever good I have done in this parish, you have endeavoured to undo it by ...
— Rod of the Lone Patrol • H. A. Cody

... they will. You surely cannot suppose I should, in cold blood, sit down to write a story in which nobody was to fall in love or be in love! Sir, scoff as you may, love is the one vital principle in all romance. Not only does your cheek flush and your eye sparkle, till "heart, brain, and soul are all on fire," over the burning words of some Brontean Pythoness, but when you open the last thrilling work of Maggie ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... rail against money, Spurn its beneficent power; Bears spurn impossible honey, Foxes the grapes that are sour. Men, who can never be funny, Scoff at the funny man's dower; Lands where it seldom is sunny Find ...
— Punch, Vol. 99., July 26, 1890. • Various

... us now hear them, as becomes men with such feelings, express more cheering and bolder hopes rising from a confidence in the supremacy of justice,—hopes which, however the Tyrant from the iron fortresses of his policy may scoff at them and at those who entertained them, will render their memory dear to all good men, when his name will be pronounced ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... preceding Act. To whom is Berowne's line (V, ii, 477)—"Speake for yourselves, my wit is at an end"—addressed? How is the King brought to confusion? Is the Princess too hard upon him? Why does Berowne scoff ...
— Shakespeare Study Programs; The Comedies • Charlotte Porter and Helen A. Clarke

... who endured such sufferings for our sakes, and again bestowed such blessings upon us, him dost thou reject and scoff at his Cross? And, thyself wholly riveted to carnal delights and deadly passions, dost thou proclaim the idols of shame and dishonour gods? Not only hast thou alienated thyself from the commonwealth of heavenly felicity but ...
— Barlaam and Ioasaph • St. John of Damascus

... creature of placid demeanour and generous proportions. It had never occurred to me hitherto to associate her with rabies, and I still felt that she herself would scoff at the idea. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, June 4, 1919. • Various

... estate gathered to witness it. A roaring fire was built in a pit over the mouth of which eight men held the great sack, which rolled, and beat about before the wind as it filled and took the form of a huge ball. The crowd was unbelieving and cynical, inclined to scoff at the idea that mere smoke would carry so huge a construction up into the sky. But when the signal was given to cast off, the balloon rose with a swiftness and majesty that at first struck the crowd dumb, then moved it to cheers of amazement and admiration. It went up six thousand ...
— Aircraft and Submarines - The Story of the Invention, Development, and Present-Day - Uses of War's Newest Weapons • Willis J. Abbot

... and the consequences which will follow their conduct here, and witnessed their parents' deep concern, and earned cries to God in their behalf can forget them—they must, they do, at times, affect them. While any thing of this nature remains, there is hope. Some, who in early life, scoff at warning and counsel, are afterwards brought to repentance: And such often testify, that impressions made by parental faithfulness in their tender years, were the means of their awakening and amendment. This should encourage ...
— Sermons on Various Important Subjects • Andrew Lee

... occupied were they with these incessant alarms. But Rigby, on whom devolved the plan and conduct of the siege, seeing that their affairs were in no thriving condition, but that rather they were the scoff and jest of the garrison, who daily taunted them from the walls, determined at all hazards to raise his cannon. For this purpose a considerable number of the peasantry and poorer sort in the neighbourhood, and for miles round, were driven ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... At church with meek and unaffected grace, His looks adorn'd the venerable place; Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway, And fools who came to scoff remain'd to pray. The service past, around the pious man, With steady zeal each honest rustic ran; E'en children follow'd with endearing wile, And pluck'd his gown to share the good man's smile. His ready smile a parent's warmth exprest, Their ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... Redan, in silent scoff, Lay, grim and threatening, under; And the tawny mound of the Malakoff No longer belched ...
— The Ontario Readers - Third Book • Ontario Ministry of Education

... save under a law of degeneracy. Its trend is downward; its centuries of history tell just this one story. The actual stage of to-day..is a moral abomination. In Chicago, at least, it is trampling on the Sabbath with defiant scoff. It is defiling our youth. It is making crowds familiar with the play of criminal passions. It is exhibiting women with such approaches to nakedness as can have no other design than to breed lust behind the onlooking eyes. It is furnishing candidates ...
— Questionable Amusements and Worthy Substitutes • J. M. Judy

... seem reasonable to my understanding. Pshaw! I am a fool to let such a trifle unnerve me; and yet, coming as it does after all these alarms, it has an additional significance, for I cannot doubt either Mr. Manson's story or that of the mate, now that I have experienced that which I used formerly to scoff at. ...
— The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... as he hasten'd off With his new purchases, the infant caught, And bid the mother, with a heartless scoff, Fling it away: said he, "'Tis good for nought; None of this lumber can we have, the road Is long enough to tread ...
— Poems • Walter R. Cassels

... application of a fleecing nonchalance or of a jibing scorn to a soul of strong and ardent sentiment, is unfit. A certain divinity should hedge every manifestation of trustful affection, even though it be misjudged. It is for the most part profane to scoff an overstretched or misplaced admiration: it calls rather for a considerate instruction which shall ...
— The Friendships of Women • William Rounseville Alger

... chevrons resembling sword-cuts that seemed deep-hacked within the rounded arches of the Triforium. Thence onward my gaze fluttered like a butterfly, and rested upon a leering corbel, which seemed to scoff at priest and priest-craft with protruding tongue. The mighty stone roof soaring aloft—a ship's keel upturned—drew my eye eastward to the choir; there on the great east window, rose-shaped and many-coloured, the invading ...
— Border Ghost Stories • Howard Pease

... But"—with a note of solemn warning in her voice—"you must never forget that she's an Episcopalian, a lost soul, dead in forms and ceremonies and trespasses and sins." So his mother scoffed at Ardea's faith; and Ardea—no, she did not scoff, her contempt was too generous for that; but it was there, just the same. And the Methodists fellowshiped neither, and the Baptists excluded the Methodists, and the Catholics retorted to the Protestant charge of apostasy ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... should thus look upon his creatures in their hour of need; and the system disclosing such communication appears, upon every principle of sound philosophy, to be one of harmony, consistency, and truth. The subject, therefore, leads our attention to that inward change, so often the scoff of the profane, but to which so prominent a place is assigned in the sacred writings, in which a man is said to be created anew by a power from Heaven, and elevated in his whole views and feelings as a moral ...
— The Philosophy of the Moral Feelings • John Abercrombie

... you prefer to take the risks, and remain chief of the guard yourself?" she said with an angry scoff. "Truly there did not seem to be many thrusting forward to strip you of the office. I shall have a fine sorting up of places in payment for this night's work. But for the ...
— The Lost Continent • C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

... to worship, mother mine. A great curiosity drew me—I desired to see with my own eyes, and hear with mine own ears, this adoration of the Christ, at which my teachers scoff. But I was caught up in a mighty wave of organ-music that surged from this low earth heavenwards to break against the footstool of God in the crystal firmament. And suddenly I knew what my soul was pining for. I knew the meaning of that restless ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... wonderful fancy, until at last it became something quite different from the original paradox, and full of truth and wisdom. But when such a paradox went off in a letter, there it remained unqualified; and they who, not having known him, scoff at his friends who claim for him the honours of a great critic, seem to ...
— Old Familiar Faces • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... philosophy? Hast thou not said, 'Be virtuous, be good, be just, for the sake of mankind: but there is no life after this life'? Mankind! why should I love mankind? Hideous and misshapen, mankind jeer at me as I pass the streets. What hast thou done to me? Thou hast taken away from me, who am the scoff of this world, the hopes of another! Is there no other life? Well, then, I want thy gold, that at least I may hasten to make the best ...
— Zanoni • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... or physicians scoff at the ancient authorities who dominated medical thinking for so many centuries. The seventeenth-century physician striving to reduce the frightful inroads that disease made into the colony at Jamestown may have been handicapped by the erroneous doctrines of the ...
— Medicine in Virginia, 1607-1699 • Thomas P. Hughes

... with scoff unfeeling, The gentle tale of grief and wrong, Which, all the pain of life revealing, Yet ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 341, March, 1844, Vol. 55 • Various

... Predestinated to be good, But true to the backbone Unto itself alone, And false to none; Born to its own affairs, Its own joys and own cares; By whom the work which God begun Is finished, and not undone; Taken up where he left off, Whether to worship or to scoff; If not good, why then evil, If not good god, good devil. Goodness!—you hypocrite, come out of that, Live your life, do your work, then take your hat. I have no patience towards Such conscientious cowards. Give me simple laboring ...
— A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers • Henry David Thoreau

... that I was, insulted him when, in his disinterestedness, he tried to reason with me and show me the way. He did not resent my conduct, he simply said that some day I should receive the first-fruits of the Spirit—that those who came to scoff sometimes remained to pray. There was a strange magic in his words. They sank into my mind. But the loss of my mother hit me most; and by degrees I was brought to see daylight. Since then my one desire has been to hand on the true ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... have dwindled since To penny things—at our Black Prince Historic pens would scoff— The only one we moderns had Was nothing but a Sandwich lad, And measles took ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, No. - 288, Supplementary Number • Various

... in the degree of this little room with its humming stove. Johnnie, son of Scully, in a tone which defined his opinion of his ability as a card-player, challenged the old farmer of both gray and sandy whiskers to a game of High-Five. The farmer agreed with a contemptuous and bitter scoff. They sat close to the stove, and squared their knees under a wide board. The cowboy and the Easterner watched the game with interest. The Swede remained near the window, aloof, but with a countenance that showed signs of ...
— The Monster and Other Stories - The Monster; The Blue Hotel; His New Mittens • Stephen Crane

... The doubter may scoff, and the pessimist may croak, but even they must take hope at the picture presented in the simple and touching incident of eight Grand Army veterans, with their silvery heads bowed in sympathy, escorting the lifeless body of the Daughter of the Confederacy from ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol II, After-Dinner Speeches E-O • Various

... expressed; and, above all, the military must be kept, according to the language of our bill of rights, in strict subordination to the civil authority. Wherever this lesson is not both learned and practiced there can be no political freedom. Absurd, preposterous is it, a scoff and a satire on free forms of constitutional liberty, for frames of government to be prescribed by military leaders and the right of suffrage to be exercised at the ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 2 (of 2) of Volume 6: Andrew Johnson • James D. Richardson

... such a virtue, whereunto himself pretendeth. Speech of touch towards others, should be sparingly used; for discourse ought to be as a field, without coming home to any man. I knew two noblemen, of the west part of England, whereof the one was given to scoff, but kept ever royal cheer in his house; the other would ask, of those that had been at the other's table, Tell truly, was there never a flout or dry blow given? To which the guest would answer, Such and such a thing passed. The lord would say, ...
— Essays - The Essays Or Counsels, Civil And Moral, Of Francis Ld. - Verulam Viscount St. Albans • Francis Bacon

... attempt the consolidation of his little empire and the fusion of the jealous tribes which composed it. The low moral condition of his Arabs, who were for the most part thieves and cowards, and the rude individuality of his Kabyles, who would respect his religious but scoff at his political claims, made the task of the leader a difficult one. To the Kabyles he confided the care of his saintly reputation, renouncing their contributions, and asking only for their prayers as a Berber and as a khouan of ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XI, No. 27, June, 1873 • Various

... "Do not scoff, O Dagaeoga. The lore and belief of my nation and of the whole Hodenosaunee are based upon the experience of many centuries. And do you not say in your religion that the prayer of the righteous availeth? Do you ...
— The Rulers of the Lakes - A Story of George and Champlain • Joseph A. Altsheler

... 1766, and another, called Jewish Letters, published at Newcastle in 1746. (The Dublin edition of 1753 I have not seen.) Though d'Argens's purpose in Letter 35 may have been to advertise his own novel, what he had to say is interesting. Like many others, he could scoff at the heroic romances and yet borrow and quietly modify the doctrines of Ibrahim and Clelie. He proposed a still more "advanced" vraisemblance and decorum—psychological analysis tinged with cynicism rather than idealism; gallantry but against the background sometimes of the modern city; ...
— Prefaces to Fiction • Various

... efforts with roars of laughter, and Jack himself was at first too overcome with merriment to do more than scoff. At last, however, he went for a rope, cast it over the giant's two heads, so, with the help of a team of horses, drew them shorewards, where two blows from the sword of ...
— English Fairy Tales • Flora Annie Steel

... steady gaze?— Was there a look that harshly fell To scoff her?—or a syllable Of anger?—or the bitter phrase That myrrhs the honey of love's lips, Or curdles blood as poison drips? What made their breasts to heave and swell As billows under bows of ships In broken seas on stormy days? We may not know—nor ...
— Green Fields and Running Brooks, and Other Poems • James Whitcomb Riley

... recollection. "I admit that it was a very striking scene. It was very good," I added, religiously, referring to the corn. Mr. Rollin ought to know, I thought, that I had come to Wallencamp on a mission, and that if he wished to scoff at the ways of its defenceless inhabitants, he shouldn't look to ...
— Cape Cod Folks • Sarah P. McLean Greene

... hound, A reptile fool, is he who fawns on men Before their faces, while his heart is black With malice, and, when they be gone, his tongue Backbites them. Openly Polydamas Flung back upon the prince his taunt and scoff: "O thou of living men most mischievous! Thy valour—quotha!—brings us misery! Thine heart endures, and will endure, that strife Should have no limit, save in utter ruin Of fatherland and people for thy sake! Ne'er may such wantwit valour craze ...
— The Fall of Troy • Smyrnaeus Quintus

... which is all the more reason why I shouldn't take advantage of it. We may scoff at the social inequalities as much as we please, but we can't laugh them out of court. As between a young woman who is an heiress in her own right, and a briefless lawyer, there are differences which a decent man is bound to efface. And I haven't ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... I don't care about any more, but if you will let me talk to you about something— See here, Anna. Yes, I mean Anna. What nonsense for us to attempt to keep up the Miss Moore and Mr. Sanderson business. I used to scoff at love at first sight and say it was all the idle fancy of the poets. Then I met you and remained to pray. You've turned my world topsy-turvy. I can't think without you, and yet it would be folly to tell this to my Governor, and ask his consent to our marriage. ...
— 'Way Down East - A Romance of New England Life • Joseph R. Grismer

... two whose love, first foolish, widening scope, Knows suddenly, with music high and soft, The Holy of holies; who because they scoff'd Are now amazed with shame, nor dare to cope With the whole truth aloud, lest heaven should ope; Yet, at their meetings, laugh not as they In speech; nor speak, at length; but sitting oft Together, within hopeless sight of hope For hours are silent:—So it ...
— The House of Life • Dante Gabriel Rossetti

... who has had the patience to accompany me through these pages devoted to Miss Dickinson will surely own, whether in scoff or praise, the essentially American nature of her muse. Her defects are easily paralleled in the annals of English literature; but only in the liberal atmosphere of the New World, comparatively unshadowed by trammels of authority and standards of taste, ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... Tache was frail and past his prime, would rest with Macdonald. The presidency of the Executive Council, which was offered him, unless joined to the office of prime minister, was of no real importance. Some party friends throughout the country {40} would misunderstand, and more would scoff. He had parted company with his loyal personal friends Dorion and Holton. If, as Disraeli said, England does not love coalitions, neither does Canada. For the time being, and, as events proved, for a considerable time, ...
— The Fathers of Confederation - A Chronicle of the Birth of the Dominion • A. H. U. Colquhoun

... dinner, Dr. Waterhouse! He preaches in a devout manner of way, not elegant nor very persuasive, but seems to mean well, and that he would preach holily; and was mighty passionate against people that make a scoff of religion. And, the truth is, I did observe Mrs. Hollworthy smile often, and many others of the parish, who, I perceive, have known him, and were in mighty expectation of hearing him preach, but could not forbear smiling, and she particularly ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... dormienda"; Lucretius, of course, gloried in the thought that there is no life beyond. In the following century the learned Pliny could write of death as the relapsing into the same nothingness as before we were born, and could scoff at the absurdities of ...
— The Religious Experience of the Roman People - From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus • W. Warde Fowler

... conduct the Maid presently to the Castle," answered Sir Guy. "There is now great desire to see her and hear her, and to try and test the truth of her mission. The Generals scoff aloud at the thought of going to battle with a maid for leader. The Churchmen look grave, and talk of witchcraft and delusion. The ladies of the Court are in a fever to see her. As for the King and his Ministers, they are divided in mind 'twixt hope and ...
— A Heroine of France • Evelyn Everett-Green

... on the raised throne of his council chamber. All the Lords of his Council were there and all in black. There was Norfolk with his yellow face who feigned to laugh and scoff, now that he had proved himself no lover of the Queen's. There was Gardiner of Winchester, sitting forward with his cruel and eager eyes upon the table. Next him was the Lord Mayor, Michael Dormer, and the Lord Chancellor. And so round the horse-shoe table against the ...
— The Fifth Queen Crowned • Ford Madox Ford

... Behn in her own Epilogue when she speaks of 'fat Cardinals, Pope Joans, and Fryers'; and Lord Falkland's scoff in his Prologue to Otway's The Soldier's ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. I (of 6) • Aphra Behn

... Bourbons. Those who remain pious in that country (or, rather, we should say, in the capital, for of that we speak,) are unaffectedly so, for they have no worldly benefit to hope for from their piety; the great majority have no religion at all, and do not scoff at the few, for scoffing is the minority's weapon, and is passed always to the weaker side, whatever that may be. Thus H. B. caricatures the Ministers: if by any accident that body of men should ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... to comfort her, spoke of her children, in whom her own youth lived again, even attempted to scoff at her a little, declaring that she was fishing for compliments ... but she quite seriously begged him to leave off, and for the first time he realised that for such a sorrow, the despondency of old age, there is no comfort or cure; one has ...
— The Torrents of Spring • Ivan Turgenev

... what he loves. The irony must, mark you, be pervading and obvious. Disraeli's great ladies and lords won't do, for his irony was but latent in his homage, and thus the reader feels himself called on to worship and in duty bound to scoff. All's well, though, when the homage is latent in the irony. Thackeray, inviting us to laugh and frown over the follies of Mayfair, enables us to reel with him in a secret orgy of veneration for ...
— Seven Men • Max Beerbohm

... hurried them to destruction; for a long time they could not gain the territories for which they fought, and, when at last gained, they could not keep them: their expeditions, therefore, have been the scoff of idleness and ignorance, their understanding and their virtue have been equally vilified, their conduct has been ridiculed, and their cause has ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... the leg been one of those That danced for bread in flesh-color'd hose, With Rosina's pastora bevy, The jeers it had met,—the shouts! the scoff! The cutting advice to "take itself off" For sounding ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... and America have begotten half the bad blood that has been engendered by trumpery questions of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. I cannot hope to escape giving offence, probably on both sides; but if I can induce one or two people on either side to think twice before they scoff once, I shall not have written ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... galleries of the New Art, not to scoff, but in earnest desire for enlightenment as to this thing which is so near to consciousness and yet so ...
— The Fourth Dimensional Reaches of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition • Cora Lenore Williams

... bringing the highest quantity of rational enjoyment within the reach of general society, England is wholly superior in civilization to the shivering splendours of the Continent. Foreigners are beginning to learn this; and those who are most disposed to scoff at our taste, are the readiest to follow ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... it should be answered, through and under Christianity, the fool in his heart would scoff and say: 'What woman thinks of religion in her youthful courtship?' No; but it is not what she thinks of, but what thinks of her; not what she contemplates in consciousness, but what contemplates her, and reaches her by a necessity of social (? ideal) action. Romance is the product of ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... One who could make it strong. Suddenly she felt in her that consciousness which the weakest have at times felt, and which, however the rationalist may scoff, the Christian dare not disbelieve—that sense of not working, but being worked upon—by which truths come into one's heart, and words into one's mouth, involuntarily, as if some spirit, not our own, were at work within us. Such had ...
— Olive - A Novel • Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)

... be called the Sea Queen, but by some mischance, ship and figurehead never came together, and the old wood-carver left it to his daughter, in lieu of other property. It has not been wholly unproductive, Mrs. Bruce fancies, for the casual passers-by, like those who came to scoff and remained to pray, go into the shop to ask questions about the Sea Queen and buy chops out of ...
— Penelope's Experiences in Scotland • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... traveled, preaching three or four times a day, and riding from twenty to fifty miles. At London he preached on the "heaths," and thousands upon thousands who never entered a church heard him. That phrase, "They came to scoff and remained ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... have and wonder, of my book, To what thoughts shall't in alien hearts give birth. But, as he who doth love, and, loving, hopes, Yet, hoping, fears, fears to put proof to proof, And in his mind for possible proofs gropes, Delaying the true proof, lest the real thing scoff, I daily live, i'th' fame I dream to see, But by my thought of others' ...
— 35 Sonnets • Fernando Pessoa

... into which they see only their own distorted images, like the reflection of a face in a spoon. Hence it needs not surprise that they are not very devout worshippers; it is a great wonder they do not openly scoff. ...
— The Fiend's Delight • Dod Grile

... Many who scoff at a book of etiquette would be shocked to hear the least expression of levity touching the Ten Commandments. But the Commandments do not always prevent such virtuous scoffers from dealings with their neighbor ...
— Etiquette • Emily Post

... quite spell-bound, while Mackay's prophesying voice ranged up and down through all the modulations of thunder, from the hurrying mutter to the reverberant shock and climax: and those who came to scoff remained to wonder. ...
— The Purple Cloud • M.P. Shiel

... many ignorant people who would scoff at such a matter, and call it superstition. But you will always notice that they are people who have never traveled with a gray mare and a preacher. I went down the river once in such company. We grounded at Bloody ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... he caught suffering his feelings to escape from his controul or management; his word was esteemed in the council as the word of wisdom; his warning of danger was regarded as the cry of the owl. Never did he mock the wretched, or laugh, or scoff at the insane; he was always respectful to the aged; and he daily cried to the Master of Life, from the high grounds, with clay spread thick upon his hair, and at every successful hunt offered, to the same Great Judge and protecting guide of man, the best part of the animals he had caught. ...
— Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 2 (of 3) • James Athearn Jones

... days of his childhood, and along with the elements he also was exposed to the evils of the hexerei. The hexerei, or witchcraft, was something that was never doubted or scoffed at by his people. Then why should he, a good Pennsylvania Dutchman, doubt or scoff at such tradition? ...
— The White Feather Hex • Don Peterson

... that freezes too fiercely—that absolutely blisters with its frost—like the upper air of the Andes. You speak of Kate only as too readily you speak of all women; the instinct of a natural scepticism being to scoff at all hidden depths of truth. Else you are civil enough to Kate; and your 'homage' (such as it may happen to be) is always at the service of a woman on the shortest notice. But behind you, I see a worse fellow; a gloomy fanatic; a religious sycophant that seeks ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... the answers which God gives to prayer, or the marvellousness and almost miraculousness of His providences, or the comfort of religion in affliction, or the strength given you over your passions in the Most Holy Sacrament, such persons understand you not at all. They will laugh, they will scoff, at best they will wonder: any how what you say is no evidence to them. You cannot convince them, because you differ from them in first principles; it is not that they start from the same point as you, and afterwards strike off in some wayward direction; but their course is altogether distinct, ...
— Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII (of 8) • John Henry Newman

... concerning Life and its obligations. They were often startling, particularly as she made no secret of the fact that she and her husband never "got on." Between puffs of cigarette smoke she would scoff at the laws of marriage and speak with much leniency of divorce. Her sympathies were invariably with offenders, and Joyce thought her rather too fond of the society of men. Meredith feared and disliked her. The fear was on ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... road to ultimate satisfaction and happiness. It behooves the musician, therefore, to study the underlying bases of the community music movement, and to use this new tool that has been thus providentially thrown into his hands for the advancement of art appreciation, rather than to stand aloof and scoff at certain imperfections and crudities which inevitably are only too evident in the ...
— Essentials in Conducting • Karl Wilson Gehrkens

... me! I am surprised! The first time in my life! Is it to scoff at religion, or does it begin to ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... sincerity we recognize and respect, but occasionally I find young men who think it smart to be skeptical; they talk as if it were an evidence of larger intelligence to scoff at creeds and to refuse to connect themselves with churches. They call themselves "Liberal," as if a Christian were narrow minded. Some go so far as to assert that the "advanced thought of the world" has discarded the idea that ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... wax where the beasts would walk on it, in pathways or before dens. How they did scoff! The simplest ground squirrel knew too much to venture on my waxen snare; around 'it, or if hemmed in, over it, with a mighty bound they went; but never a track ...
— Boy Scouts Handbook - The First Edition, 1911 • Boy Scouts of America

... hands and eager eyes, listening to the exhortations of the priests, and ready, as might be seen from their earnest gaze, to suffer martyrdom in the cause. More, however, stood indifferently round, or, after listening to a few words, walked on with a laugh or a scoff; indeed, preaching had already done all that lay in its power. All those who could be moved by exhortations of this kind were there, and upon the rest the discourses and sermons were ...
— The Boy Knight • G.A. Henty

... tax-gatherer, but fall prostrate at the feet of the contemptible prince for whom the tax-gatherer plies his craft; they will even revile the troublesome and importunate monk, or sometimes they will scoff at the sleek and arrogant priest, while such is their infatuation that they would risk their lives in defense of that cruel Church which has inflicted on them hideous calamities, but to which they still cling, as it it were the dearest object of ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland IV • Various

... perceptions of justice, the rank and file and the wooden spoons must needs apply the old ethics, even against the new teachers themselves. Every truth has to fight for recognition, to prove itself not a lie. The brilliant and impatient young men who scoff at conventions because the people who hold them are unreal—not persons, feeling and passing moral truths through their own soul, but parrots—forget that just because the people are unreal, their maxims are real; that they do not represent ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... "I deserve the scoff," said he: "Those were days of sin. I deserve every humiliation that can be put upon me. But I have since found the grace of God. I found it at three o'clock in the afternoon on the eighth of January, ...
— The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne • William J. Locke

... thoughts touched poison and immunity and murder, but inwardly he began to scoff at his own habits of suspicion. However, before he could reach for the glass, Pierce had given a short snort as though in recognition of his presumptuousness and drank his ...
— The Man Who Staked the Stars • Charles Dye

... presence poisoned the air, he said: "It is that fellow's fault, great Caesar, if the citizens of my native town dare commit such crimes. He torments and persecutes them in your name. How many a felony has been committed here, merely to scoff at him and his creatures, and to keep them on the alert! We are a light-headed race. Like children, we love to do the forbidden thing, so long as it is no stain on our honor. But that wretch treats all laughter and the most innocent fun as a crime, or so interprets ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... time, as Milton shrewdly intimates, dreaded more the rending of their pontifical sleeves than the rending of the Church? Who shall now sneer at Puritanism, with the "Defence of Unlicensed Printing" before him? Who scoff at Quakerism over the "Journal" of George Fox? Who shall join with debauched lordlings and fat-witted prelates in ridicule of Anabaptist levellers and dippers, after rising from the perusal of "Pilgrim's Progress?" "There were giants in those days." And foremost amid that band of liberty-loving ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... "And," says the king, "I will not take thy property from thee, but rather be thy friend, if thou wilt make thyself worthy to be so." Raud exclaimed with all his might against the proposal, saying he would never believe in Christ, and making his scoff of God. Then the king was wroth, and said Raud should die the worst of deaths. And the king ordered him to be bound to a beam of wood, with his face uppermost, and a round pin of wood set between his teeth to force his mouth open. Then the king ordered ...
— Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway • Snorri Sturluson

... my regrets for meeting him, (when he thinks, if I had not, I must have been Mr. Solmes's wife,) would perhaps treat me with indignity: and thus, deprived of all refuge and protection, I should become the scoff of men of intrigue; a disgrace to my sex—while that avowed loved, however indiscreetly shown, which is followed by marriage, will find more excuses made for it, than generally ...
— Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) • Samuel Richardson

... uninterrupted labour. Men spoke of his eccentricity, of his ignorance of the world, of his neglect of all the customs of society, of the disgrace he cast on the artist's profession by his dress, which was beneath his station, and by his frugality, which was almost penury. He cared nothing for scoff and reproach. Regardless of the world's comments, he gave himself up to his art. Unweariedly did he haunt the galleries; hour after hour, day after day, he stood before the works of the great masters, striving to penetrate their secrets. He never ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... and ceased to scoff. Money is a great dignifier, and Jim and 'Lias were making money. There had been some sniffs when the latter had hinged the front gate and whitewashed his mother's cabin, but even that had been accepted now ...
— Americans All - Stories of American Life of To-Day • Various

... home of which it is the foundation. And I know what scorn and obloquy and denunciation await that man who stands unawed before it, seeing in it but an ugly little idol. And I guess what will be dealt out to him who not only refuses to bow the head, but openly scoffs. And yet I am going to scoff and say ugly words about this fetish of ours. I am going to say that it represents ignorance, hides and causes hypocrisy, stands in the way of progress, drags low the standard of individual excellence, perpetuates ...
— Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 2, April 1906 - Monthly Magazine Devoted to Social Science and Literature • Various

... Winterfield. No woman ever lived, perhaps, with more conscientious ideas of her duty as a woman than Mrs Winterfield of Prospect Place, Perivale. And this, as I say it, is intended to convey no scoff against that excellent lady. She was an excellent lady unselfish, given to self-restraint, generous, pious, looking to find in her religion a safe path through life a path as safe as the facts of Adam's fall would allow her feet to find. ...
— The Belton Estate • Anthony Trollope

... Akana strayed in to scoff, she remained to pray to Abel Ah Yo's god, who struck her hard-headed mind as the most sensible god of which she had ever heard. She gave money into Abel Ah Yo's collection plate, closed up the hula house, and dismissed the ...
— On the Makaloa Mat/Island Tales • Jack London

... employed their Christianity as an electioneering dodge to injure a man whose sturdy Radicalism they feared. Over and over again Mr. Bradlaugh was told that he was an "impossible candidate", and gibe and sneer and scoff were flung at the man who had neither ancestors nor wealth to recommend him, who fought his battle with his brain and his tongue, and whose election expenses were paid by hundreds of contributions from poor men and women in every part ...
— Autobiographical Sketches • Annie Besant

... Norbert may give in, he may marry another woman, and I shall be left alone, with my reputation gone, and the scorn and scoff ...
— The Champdoce Mystery • Emile Gaboriau



Words linked to "Scoff" :   discount, dismiss, rag, tantalize, bait, brush aside, tease, scoffing, derision, razz, push aside, jeering, disregard, scoffer, flout



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