Definitions

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

  • n. A disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by spongy and bleeding gums, bleeding under the skin, and extreme weakness.
  • adj. Mean; contemptible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A disease caused by insufficient intake of vitamin C leading to the formation of livid spots on the skin, spongy gums, loosening of the teeth and bleeding into the skin and from almost all mucous membranes.
  • adj. Contemptible, despicable, low, disgustingly mean.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Covered or affected with scurf or scabs; scabby; scurfy; specifically, diseased with the scurvy.
  • adj. Vile; mean; low; vulgar; contemptible.
  • n. A disease characterized by livid spots, especially about the thighs and legs, due to extravasation of blood, and by spongy gums, and bleeding from almost all the mucous membranes. It is accompanied by paleness, languor, depression, and general debility. It is occasioned by confinement, innutritious food, and hard labor, but especially by lack of fresh vegetable food, or confinement for a long time to a limited range of food, which is incapable of repairing the waste of the system. It was formerly prevalent among sailors and soldiers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Scurfy; covered or affected with scurf or scabs; scabby; diseased with scurvy; scorbutic.
  • Vile; mean; low; vulgar; worthless; contemptible; paltry; shabby: as, a scurvy fellow.
  • Offensive; mischievous; malicious.
  • n. A disease usually presenting swollen, spongy, easily bleeding gums, fibrinous effusion into some of the muscles, rendering them hard and brawny, hemorrhages beneath the skin, rheumatoid pains, anemia, and prostration.
  • n. The black mustard, Brassica nigra.

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

  • adj. of the most contemptible kind
  • n. a condition caused by deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Etymologies

From Middle English scurfy, characterized by scurf (influenced by French scorbut, scurvy), from scurf, scurf; see scurf.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The name scurvy comes from the Latin scorbutus, and humans have known about the disease since ancient Greek and Egyptian times ...

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  • However, one of the signs of advanced scurvy is the body's failure to create or replace collagen in skin tissues.

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  • And I use the word scurvy to tie this to the fact that President Surrender Monkey is afraid of pirates.

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  • Now, this security is like the disease in the body which is commonly called the scurvy; -- it is not any single distemper or disease, but a complication or concurrence of many prevalent distempers.

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  • I believe to be common salt; the sea-scurvy is evidently caused by it in long voyages; and

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  • The last thing I want to do is go starving to the grave clutching my Kelmscott Chaucer, my Nonesuch Shakespeare, my Sphinx in scurvy’d hand.

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  • Stefansson demostrated that fresh, lightly cooked meat contains an antiscorbutic a substance that prevents scurvy, which is lost when meat is cooked to much.

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  • I am still suffering very much from the effect of the stagnant waters; they have sent me back again nearly to my former state of weakness, and have assisted in checking my recovery from the scurvy, which is now again gaining ground upon me since I lost the vegetable food.

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  • I'm getting pizza scurvy, which is caused by a lack of melted cheese in one's diet.

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  • A disease called scurvy is often due to a lack of fresh vegetables and fruits in diet.

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