- A nasty, verbal, abusive attack on a teacher is an example of a scurrilous attack.
- An untrue rumor spread for the purposes of making a politician look bad to voters is an example of something that would be described as scurrilous.
The definition of scurrilous is something that is very abusive, or is scandalous and potentially harmful rumors spread to ruin someone's reputation.
- Archaic characterized by indecent or abusive language; coarse; vulgar
- maliciously insulting; slanderous, libelous, etc.
Origin of scurrilousscurril(e) + -ous
- Given to the use of vulgar, coarse, or abusive language.
- Expressed in vulgar, coarse, or abusive language.
- Of a malicious or slanderous nature; defamatory: “The law affords them wide First Amendment protection &ellipsis; even when they write scurrilous lies” (Richard Curtis).
(comparative more scurrilous, superlative most scurrilous)
From Latin scurrilis (“buffoon-like"), from scurra (“a buffoon").