scratch

I didn’t remember to bring my puppy, Fido, in from the snow until he began to frantically scratch at the door. A scratch is marking or marring a surface with something sharp, such as a nail against metal or fingernails across skin.

If someone has scratch marks on their skin, you might wonder if they have been in a fight where there was scratching. Scratch can also mean to eliminate something, as in, “You can scratch our idea, the boss is going with the new guy’s plan.” And Scratch, often referred to as Old Scratch, is a longstanding nickname of the Devil.

Primary Meanings of scratch

1.
vn
cut the surface of; wear away the surface of
a depression scratched or carved into a surface
2.
v
scrape or rub as if to relieve itching
3.
vn
postpone indefinitely or annul something that was scheduled
a competitor who has withdrawn from competition
4.
vn
gather (money or other resources) together over time
informal terms for money
5.
n
dry mash for poultry
6.
n
poor handwriting
7.
n
(golf) a handicap of zero strokes
Full Definitions of scratch
1

v cut the surface of; wear away the surface of

Synonyms:
scrape, scratch up
Types:
claw
scratch, scrape, pull, or dig with claws or nails
scuff
mar by scuffing
clapperclaw
claw with the nails
Type of:
incise
make an incision into by carving or cutting

v carve, cut, or etch into a material or surface

“the lovers scratched their names into the bark of the tree”
Synonyms:
engrave, grave, inscribe
engrave, etch
carve or cut a design or letters into
Types:
character
engrave or inscribe characters on
Type of:
carve, chip at
engrave or cut by chipping away at a surface

n a depression scratched or carved into a surface

Synonyms:
dent, incision, prick, slit
Types:
score, scotch
a slight surface cut (especially a notch that is made to keep a tally)
Type of:
depression, impression, imprint
a concavity in a surface produced by pressing

n an indication of damage

Synonyms:
mark, scar, scrape
Type of:
blemish, defect, mar
a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something (especially on a person's body)

n an abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off

Synonyms:
abrasion, excoriation, scrape
Types:
graze
a superficial abrasion
rope burn
abrasion (usually on the hands) caused by friction from a rope
Type of:
lesion, wound
an injury to living tissue (especially an injury involving a cut or break in the skin)

n a harsh noise made by scraping

Synonyms:
scrape, scraping, scratching
Type of:
noise
sound of any kind (especially unintelligible or dissonant sound)

n a line indicating the location of the start of a race or a game

Synonyms:
scratch line, start, starting line
Type of:
line
in games or sports; a mark indicating positions or bounds of the playing area
2

v scrape or rub as if to relieve itching

“Don't scratch your insect bites!”
Synonyms:
itch, rub
Type of:
irritate
excite to an abnormal condition, or chafe or inflame

v cause friction

“my sweater scratches
Synonyms:
chafe, fray, fret, rub
Type of:
adjoin, contact, meet, touch
be in direct physical contact with; make contact
3

v postpone indefinitely or annul something that was scheduled

scratch that meeting--the chair is ill”
Synonyms:
call off, cancel, scrub

v remove by erasing or crossing out or as if by drawing a line

scratch that remark”
Synonyms:
excise, expunge, strike
Type of:
cancel, delete
remove or make invisible

n a competitor who has withdrawn from competition

Type of:
challenger, competition, competitor, contender, rival
the contestant you hope to defeat
4

v gather (money or other resources) together over time

“they scratched a meager living”
Synonyms:
come up, scrape, scrape up
Types:
nickel-and-dime
accumulate gradually
Type of:
accumulate, amass, collect, compile, hoard, pile up, roll up
get or gather together

n informal terms for money

Synonyms:
boodle, bread, cabbage, clams, dinero, dough, gelt, kale, lettuce, lolly, loot, lucre, moolah, pelf, shekels, simoleons, sugar, wampum
Type of:
money
the most common medium of exchange; functions as legal tender
5

n dry mash for poultry

Synonyms:
chicken feed
Type of:
mash
mixture of ground animal feeds
6

n poor handwriting

Synonyms:
cacography, scrawl, scribble
Types:
chicken scratch
cramped or illegible handwriting
squiggle
an illegible scrawl
Type of:
hand, handwriting, script
something written by hand
7

n (golf) a handicap of zero strokes

“a golfer who plays at scratch should be able to achieve par on a course”
Type of:
handicap
advantage given to a competitor to equalize chances of winning