WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
scratch /skrætʃ/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to damage or mark the surface of by scraping with something rough: [+ object]The cat scratched her.[no object]The cat scratched at the door.
  2. to (cause to) be removed with a scraping action: [+ object]Did you scratch the paint on your new car?[no object]This paint won't scratch easily.
  3. to scrape slightly, as with the fingernails, to relieve itching: [no object]He scratched gently at his ear while he thought.[+ object]He scratched his arm where the mosquito had bitten him.
  4. to draw on a rough, grating surface:[+ object]to scratch one's initials on the rock.
  5. to remove (an entry) from a contest:[+ object]He was scratched from the race at the last minute.
  6. to reject (an idea, etc.):[+ object]Scratch that idea; it costs too much.

  1. Pathology a slight injury or mark caused by scratching:[countable]had a scratch on his face from the cat.
  2. [countable] a rough mark made by a pen, etc.;
  3. [countable] the act of scratching.
  4. a slight grating sound produced by scratching:[countable]The scratches on the record made it impossible to enjoy the music.
  5. Slang Terms[uncountable]money.

adj. [before a noun]
  1. used for notes, etc.:scratch paper.
  2. Informal Termsgathered together too quickly and without enough care:a scratch crew.
  1. Idiomsfrom scratch, [uncountable]
    • from the beginning or from nothing:Let's start from scratch.
    • using basic pieces or ingredients rather than a commercial preparation:to bake a cake from scratch.
  2. Idiomsup to scratch, as good as the standard;
    satisfactory:Your work is not up to scratch.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
scratch  (skrach),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to break, mar, or mark the surface of by rubbing, scraping, or tearing with something sharp or rough:to scratch one's hand on a nail.
  2. to dig, scrape, or tear (something) out or off with or as if with the nails, claws, etc.:to scratch the burs off one's coat.
  3. to rub or scrape slightly, as with the fingernails, to relieve itching.
  4. to rub or draw along a rough, grating surface:to scratch a match on the sidewalk.
  5. to erase, cancel, strike out, or eliminate (a name, something written, etc.) by or as if by drawing a line through it (often fol. by out):Scratch out the third name on the list.
  6. to withdraw (an entry) from a race or competition.
  7. Government[U.S. Politics.]
    • to divide (one's vote) though predominantly supporting one political party or faction.
    • to strike out or reject a particular name or names on (a party ticket) in voting.
  8. to write or draw by scraping or cutting the lines into a surface:She scratched her initials on the glass.
  9. to manipulate (a phonograph record) back and forth under the stylus to produce rhythmic sounds.

  1. to use the nails, claws, etc., for tearing, digging, etc.
  2. to relieve itching by rubbing or scraping lightly, as with the fingernails.
  3. to make a slight grating noise, as a pen.
  4. to earn a living or to manage in any respect with great difficulty:We scratched along that year on very little money.
  5. to withdraw or be withdrawn from a contest or competition.
  6. Games(in certain card games) to make no score;
    earn no points.
  7. Games[Billiards, Pool.]to make a shot that results in a penalty, esp. to pocket the cue ball without hitting the object ball.

  1. Pathologya slight injury, mar, or mark, usually thin and shallow, caused by scratching:three scratches on my leg; a noticeable scratch on the table.
  2. a rough mark made by a pen, pencil, etc.;
  3. an act of scratching.
  4. the slight grating sound caused by scratching.
  5. the starting place, starting time, or status of a competitor in a handicap who has no allowance and no penalty.
  6. Games[Billiards, Pool.]
    • a shot resulting in a penalty, esp. a pocketing of the cue ball without hitting the object ball.
    • a fluke or lucky shot.
  7. Games(in certain card games) a score of zero;
  8. Sport[Baseball.]See  scratch hit. 
  9. ClothingSee  scratch wig. 
  10. Slang Termsmoney;
  11. Idiomsfrom scratch: 
    • from the very beginning or starting point.
    • from nothing;
      without resources:After the depression he started another business from scratch.
  12. Idiomsup to scratch, in conformity with a certain standard;
    satisfactory:The local symphony orchestra has improved this year, but it is still not up to scratch.

  1. used for hasty writing, notes, etc.:scratch paper.
  2. without any allowance, penalty, or handicap, as a competitor or contestant.
  3. Informal Termsdone by or dependent on chance:a scratch shot.
  4. Informal Termsgathered hastily and indiscriminately:a scratch crew.
  5. done or made from scratch:a scratch cake.
scratcha•ble, adj. 
scratcha•bly, adv. 
scratcher, n. 
scratchless, adj. 
scratchlike′, adj. 
  • 1425–75; late Middle English scracche (verb, verbal), blend of, blended Middle English scratte to scratch, and cracche to scratch; cognate with Middle Dutch cratsen

Scratch  (skrach),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Old Scratch;
  • 1730–40; alteration of scrat hermaphrodite (late Middle English scratte; compare Old English scritta (once), which may be an error for *scratta); cognate with Old Norse skratti devil, goblin, wizard, Old High German skraz wood-demon

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

scratch /skrætʃ/ vb
  1. to mark or cut (the surface of something) with a rough or sharp instrument
  2. often followed by at, out, off, etc: to scrape (the surface of something), as with claws, nails, etc
  3. to scrape (the surface of the skin) with the nails, as to relieve itching
  4. to chafe or irritate (a surface, esp the skin)
  5. to make or cause to make a grating sound; scrape
  6. (transitive) sometimes followed by out: to erase by or as if by scraping
  7. (transitive) to write or draw awkwardly
  8. (intransitive) sometimes followed by along: to earn a living, manage, etc, with difficulty
  9. to withdraw (an entry) from a race, match, etc
  1. the act of scratching
  2. a slight injury
  3. a mark made by scratching
  4. a slight grating sound
  5. (in a handicap sport) a competitor or the status of a competitor who has no allowance or receives a penalty
  6. the line from which competitors start in a race
  7. (formerly) a line drawn on the floor of a prize ring at which the contestants stood to begin or continue fighting
  8. a lucky shot
  9. up to scratch ⇒ (usually used with a negative) informal up to standard
  1. (of a team) assembled hastily
  2. (in a handicap sport) with no allowance or penalty
  3. informal rough or haphazard
Etymology: 15th Century: via Old French escrater from Germanic; compare Old High German krazzōn (German kratzen); related to Old French gratter to grate1

ˈscratchy adj

'scratch' also found in these entries:

Word of the day: near | shallow


Report an inappropriate ad.
Become a WordReference Supporter to view the site ad-free.