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  • noun A contestant who has been withdrawn from a competition.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.

  • noun A break in the surface of a thing made by scratching, or by rubbing with anything pointed; a slight furrow; a score: as, a scratch on wood or glass.
  • noun A slight wound; a laceration; a slight incision: as, he escaped with a mere scratch on the face.
  • noun plural A disease in horses, consisting of dry chaps, rifts, or scabs between the heel and the pastern-joint.
  • noun In various contests:
  • noun The line from which the contestants start.
  • noun A line drawn across a prize-ring, to which boxers are brought in order to join fight. See to come up to the scratch, under come.
  • noun The starting-point or time of starting of a player or contestant who has to make the full score or who is allowed no odds in a handicap game or contest; also, a player or competitor holding such a position.
  • noun In billiards, a stroke which is successful, but not in the way intended; a fluke.
  • noun A kind of wig covering only a part of the head; a scratch-wig.
  • noun A calcareous, earthy, or stony substance which separates from sea-water in boiling it for salt.
  • noun A scrawl.
  • Taken at random or haphazard, or without regard to qualifications; taken indiscriminately; heterogeneous: as, a scratch crew.
  • Without handicap or allowance of time or distance: noting a race or contest in which all competitors start from the same mark or on even terms, or a competitor who receives no handicap allowance.

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