from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To remove (an outer layer, for example) from a surface by forceful strokes of an edged or rough instrument.
  • intransitive verb To abrade or smooth by rubbing with a sharp or rough instrument.
  • intransitive verb To rub (a surface) with considerable pressure, as with an edged instrument or a hard object.
  • intransitive verb To draw (a hard or abrasive object) forcefully over a surface.
  • intransitive verb To injure the surface of by rubbing against something rough or sharp.
  • intransitive verb To amass or produce with difficulty.
  • intransitive verb To come into sliding, abrasive contact.
  • intransitive verb To rub or move with a harsh grating noise.
  • intransitive verb To give forth a harsh grating noise.
  • intransitive verb To economize or save money by paying attention to very small amounts; scrimp.
  • intransitive verb To succeed or manage with difficulty.
  • noun The act of scraping.
  • noun The sound of scraping.
  • noun An abrasion on the skin.
  • noun An embarrassing or difficult predicament.
  • noun A fight; a scuffle. synonym: brawl.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small dredge which removes material by scraping the top; a scraper.
  • noun A plow or cultivator shovel consisting of a straight horizontal blade of steel, in use placed obliquely on the stock; a scraper.
  • To shave or abrade the surface of with a sharp or rough instrument, especially a broad instrument, or with something hard; scratch, rasp, or shave, as a surface, by the action of a sharp or rough instrument; grate harshly over.
  • To make clean or smooth by scratching, rasping, or planing with something sharp or hard.
  • To remove or take off by or as by scratching or rubbing; erase: with out, off, or the like.
  • To collect by careful effort; gather by small earnings or savings: with together or up, or the like: as, to scrape enough money together to buy a new watch.
  • Synonyms Scrape, Scratch, Chafe, Abrade, Erode. Scraping is done with a comparatively broad surface: as, to scrape the ground with a hoe; scratching is done with that which is somewhat sharp: as, to scratch the ground with a rake; chafing and abrading are done by pressure or friction: as, a chafed heel. Erode is chiefly a geological term, meaning to wear away by degrees as though by gnawing or biting out small amounts. Scraping generally removes or wears the surface; scratching makes lines upon the surface; chafing produces heat and finally soreness; abrading wears away the surface; eroding may cut deep holes. Only chafe may be freely figurative.
  • To scratch, or grub in the ground, as fowls.
  • To rub lightly or gratingly: as, the branches scraped against the windows.
  • To draw back the foot in making obeisance: as, to bow and scrape.
  • To play with a bow on a stringed instrument: a more or less derogatory use.
  • To save; economize; hoard penuriously.
  • To scratch; draw sharply across something; “strike,” as a match.
  • To remove the scrape, or concreted turpentine, from the faces of turpentined trees.
  • In golf, to drag the club slowly along the ground in the act of putting.
  • noun The act or noise of scraping or rubbing, as with something that roughens or removes a surface; hence, the effect of scraping, rubbing, or scratching: as, a noisy scrape on a floor; the scrape of a pen.
  • noun A scraping or drawing back of the foot in making obeisance.
  • noun An embarrassing position, usually due to imprudence and thoughtlessness.
  • noun The concreted turpentine obtained by scraping it out from incisions in the trunks of Pinus australis.
  • noun A shave.
  • noun Same as scrap.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of scraping; also, the effect of scraping, as a scratch, or a harsh sound.
  • noun A drawing back of the right foot when bowing; also, a bow made with that accompaniment.
  • noun A disagreeable and embarrassing predicament out of which one can not get without undergoing, as it were, a painful rubbing or scraping; a perplexity; a difficulty.
  • transitive verb To rub over the surface of (something) with a sharp or rough instrument; to rub over with something that roughens by removing portions of the surface; to grate harshly over; to abrade; to make even, or bring to a required condition or form, by moving the sharp edge of an instrument breadthwise over the surface with pressure, cutting away excesses and superfluous parts; to make smooth or clean.
  • transitive verb To remove by rubbing or scraping (in the sense above).
  • transitive verb To collect by, or as by, a process of scraping; to gather in small portions by laborious effort; hence, to acquire avariciously and save penuriously; -- often followed by together or up.
  • transitive verb To express disapprobation of, as a play, or to silence, as a speaker, by drawing the feet back and forth upon the floor; -- usually with down.
  • transitive verb to seek acquaintance otherwise than by an introduction.
  • intransitive verb To rub over the surface of anything with something which roughens or removes it, or which smooths or cleans it; to rub harshly and noisily along.
  • intransitive verb To occupy one's self with getting laboriously.
  • intransitive verb To play awkwardly and inharmoniously on a violin or like instrument.


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

[Middle English scrapen, from Old Norse skrapa; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English scrapen, from Old Norse skrapa ("to scrape, scratch") and Old English scrapian ("to scrape, scratch"), both from Proto-Germanic *skrapōnan, *skrepanan (“to scrape, scratch”), from Proto-Indo-European *skreb-, *skrep- (“to engrave”). Cognate with Dutch schrapen ("to scrape"), German schrappen ("to scrape"), Danish skrabe ("to scrape"), Icelandic skrapa ("to scrape"), Walloon screper ("to scrape"), Latin scribō ("dig with a pen, draw, write").


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