from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In surgery, the act of scarifying; the operation of making several superficial incisions in a part, as for the purpose of taking away blood or serum.

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

  • noun The act of scarifying.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun the act of scarifying - of raking the ground harshly to remove weeds etc
  • noun a medieval form of penance in which the skin was damaged with a knife or hot iron


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • "The endurance of pain, especially in poor communities where pain and discomfort are daily realities, is another important aspect of beautification/mutilation. Scarification is valued not only because it is symmetrically placed about the body and not only because it implies the achievement of new status, but because it hurts. Where survival is only achieved by constant effort, stoicism and willpower are immensely important. The young woman who lies unflinching while the circumciser grinds her clitoris between two stones is proving that she will make a good wife, equal to all the anguish of child-bearing and daily toil, not only to the witnesses of her bravery, more importantly, to herself."

    - 'One man's mutilation is another man's beautification', Germaine Greer in The Madwoman's Underclothes.

    September 1, 2008