Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To make a thin shallow cut or mark on (a surface) with a sharp instrument.
  • intransitive verb To use the nails or claws to dig or scrape at.
  • intransitive verb To rub or scrape (the skin) to relieve itching.
  • intransitive verb To scrape or strike on an abrasive surface.
  • intransitive verb To write or draw (something) by scraping a surface.
  • intransitive verb To write or draw hurriedly.
  • intransitive verb To strike out or cancel (a word, for example) by or as if by drawing lines through.
  • intransitive verb Slang To cancel (a project or program, for example).
  • intransitive verb To withdraw (an entry) from a contest.
  • intransitive verb To use the nails or claws to dig, scrape, or wound.
  • intransitive verb To rub or scrape the skin to relieve itching.
  • intransitive verb To make a harsh scraping sound.
  • intransitive verb To gather funds or produce a living with difficulty.
  • intransitive verb To withdraw from a contest.
  • intransitive verb Games To make a shot in billiards that results in a penalty, as when the cue ball falls into a pocket or jumps the cushion.
  • noun A mark resembling a line that is produced by scratching.
  • noun A slight wound.
  • noun A hasty scribble.
  • noun A sound made by scratching.
  • noun Sports The starting line for a race.
  • noun A contestant who has been withdrawn from a competition.
  • noun The act of scratching in billiards.
  • noun A fluke or chance shot in billiards.
  • noun Poultry feed.
  • noun Slang Money.
  • adjective Done haphazardly or by chance.
  • adjective Assembled hastily or at random.
  • adjective Sports Having no golf handicap.
  • idiom (from scratch) From the very beginning.
  • idiom (scratch the surface) To investigate or treat something in superficial or preliminary fashion.
  • idiom (up to scratch) Meeting the requirements.
  • idiom (up to scratch) In fit condition.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To mark or wound slightly on the surface by the scraping or tearing action of something rough, sharp, or pointed.
  • To rub or scrape, as with the finger-nails or with a scratcher, but without wounding or marking, as for the purpose of relieving itching or irritation.
  • To write or draw hurriedly or awkwardly; scribble.
  • To dig, scrape, or excavate with the claws: as, some animals scratch holes in which they burrow.
  • To erase or blot out; obliterate; expunge.
  • Specifically
  • In horse-racing, to erase, as the name of a horse, from the list of starters.
  • In United States politics, to erase (the name of a candidate on a printed ballot) by drawing a line through it; hence, to reject (a candidate).
  • Synonyms Chafe, Abrade, etc. See scrape.
  • To use the nails, claws, or the like for tearing the surface, or for digging, as a hen.
  • To relieve cutaneous irritation by the scraping action of the nails or claws or of a scratcher.
  • In United States politics, to expunge or delete a name on a voting-paper or ballot; reject one or more candidates on a regular party ticket, by canceling their names before casting the ballot.
  • In billiards, to make a scratch or fluke.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English scracchen, probably blend of scratten, to scratch, and cracchen, to scratch (possibly from Middle Dutch cratsen).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from a blend of the Middle English words scratten ("to scratch") and crachen ("to scratch").

Examples

Comments

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  • A kind of wig covering only a portion of the head. --from the definitions.

    January 6, 2013