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

  • adj. Having or covered with scales or small projections and rough to the touch. See Synonyms at rough.
  • adj. Difficult to handle; knotty: a scabrous situation.
  • adj. Dealing with scandalous or salacious material: a scabrous novel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. covered with scales or scabs, or otherwise extremely rough
  • adj. having indecent sexual content or connotation, rough
  • adj. harsh; unmusical

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Rough to the touch, like a file; having small raised dots, scales, or points; scabby; scurfy; scaly.
  • adj. Fig.: Harsh; unmusical.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Rough; rugged; having sharp points or little asperities.
  • Harsh; unmusical.

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

  • adj. rough to the touch; covered with scales or scurf
  • adj. dealing with salacious or indecent material


Late Latin scabrōsus, from scaber, scabr-, scurfy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin scabrosus. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.