from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To clean, polish, or wash by scrubbing vigorously: scour a dirty oven.
- transitive v. To remove by scrubbing: scour grease from a pan.
- transitive v. To remove dirt or grease from (cloth or fibers) by means of a detergent.
- transitive v. To clean (wheat) before the milling process.
- transitive v. To clear (an area) by freeing of weeds or other vegetation.
- transitive v. To clear (a channel or pipe) by flushing.
- intransitive v. To scrub something in order to clean or polish it.
- intransitive v. To have diarrhea. Used of livestock.
- n. A scouring action or effect.
- n. A place that has been scoured, as by flushing with water.
- n. A cleansing agent for wool.
- n. Diarrhea in livestock.
- transitive v. To search through or over thoroughly: The detective scoured the scene of the crime for clues.
- transitive v. To range over (an area) quickly and energetically.
- intransitive v. To range over or about an area, especially in a search.
- intransitive v. To move swiftly; scurry.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To clean, polish, or wash something by scrubbing it vigorously.
- v. To search an area thoroughly.
- v. Of livestock, to suffer from diarrhea.
- v. To move swiftly.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To rub hard with something rough, as sand or Bristol brick, especially for the purpose of cleaning; to clean by friction; to make clean or bright; to cleanse from grease, dirt, etc., as articles of dress.
- transitive v. To purge.
- transitive v. To remove by rubbing or cleansing; to sweep along or off; to carry away or remove, as by a current of water; -- often with off or away.
- transitive v. To pass swiftly over; to brush along; to traverse or search thoroughly.
- transitive v. To cleanse or clear, as by a current of water; to flush.
- intransitive v. To clean anything by rubbing.
- intransitive v. To cleanse anything.
- intransitive v. To be purged freely; to have a diarrhœa.
- intransitive v. To run swiftly; to rove or range in pursuit or search of something; to scamper.
- n. Diarrhœa or dysentery among cattle.
- n. The act of scouring.
- n. A place scoured out by running water, as in the bed of a stream below a fall.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To cleanse by hard rubbing; clean by friction; make clean and bright on the surface by rubbing; brighten.
- To cleanse from grease and dirt by rubbing or scrubbing thoroughly with soap, washing, rinsing, etc.; cleanse by scrubbing and the use of certain chemical appliances: as, to scour blankets, carpets, articles of dress, etc.; to scour woolens.
- To cleanse or clean out by flushing, or by a violent flood of water.
- To purge thoroughly or with violence; purge drastically.
- To cleanse thoroughly in any way; free entirely from impurities, or whatever obstructs or is undesirable; clear; sweep clear; rid.
- To remove by scouring; cleanse away; obliterate; efface.
- To run over and scatter; clean out.
- To rub a surface for the purpose of cleansing it.
- To cleanse cloth; remove dirt or grease from a texture.
- To be purged thoroughly or violently; use strong purgatives.
- n. The clearing action of a strong, swift current through a narrow channel; the removal of more or less of the material at the bottom of a river or tidal channel by the action of a current of water flowing over it with sufficient velocity to produce this effect.
- n. A kind of diarrhea or dysentery among cattle or other animals; violent purging.
- n. The material used in scouring or cleansing woolens, etc.
- To run with celerity; scamper; scurry off or along.
- To rove or range for the purpose of sweeping or taking something.
- To run quickly over or along, especially in quest or as if in quest of something.
- To pass through the soil without the latter adhering, the blade being thus rubbed bright: said of an agricultural implement.
- n. The violent removal of sand by the wind, especially when it blows through a funnel-shaped pass or canon.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. clean with hard rubbing
- n. a place that is scoured (especially by running water)
- v. examine minutely
- v. rub hard or scrub
- v. rinse, clean, or empty with a liquid
Middle English scouren, from Middle Dutch scūren, from Old French escurer, from Late Latin excūrāre, to clean out : Latin ex-, ex-, Late Latin cūrāre, to clean (from Latin, to take care of, from cūra, care; see cure).
Middle English scouren, to move swiftly, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skūr, shower.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)