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.

Definitions of scratch
  1. verb
    cut the surface of; wear away the surface of
    synonyms: scrape, scratch up
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    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
  2. verb
    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
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    types:
    character
    engrave or inscribe characters on
    type of:
    carve, chip at
    engrave or cut by chipping away at a surface
  3. noun
    a depression scratched or carved into a surface
    synonyms: dent, incision, prick, slit
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    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
  4. noun
    an indication of damage
    synonyms: mark, scar, scrape
    see moresee less
    type of:
    blemish, defect, mar
    a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something (especially on a person's body)
  5. noun
    an abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off
    synonyms: abrasion, excoriation, scrape
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    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)
  6. noun
    a harsh noise made by scraping
    synonyms: scrape, scraping, scratching
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    type of:
    noise
    sound of any kind (especially unintelligible or dissonant sound)
  7. noun
    a line indicating the location of the start of a race or a game
    synonyms: scratch line, start, starting line
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    type of:
    line
    in games or sports; a mark indicating positions or bounds of the playing area
  8. verb
    scrape or rub as if to relieve itching
    “Don't scratch your insect bites!”
    synonyms: itch, rub
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    type of:
    irritate
    excite to an abnormal condition, or chafe or inflame
  9. verb
    cause friction
    “my sweater scratches
    synonyms: chafe, fray, fret, rub
    see moresee less
    type of:
    adjoin, contact, meet, touch
    be in direct physical contact with; make contact
  10. verb
    postpone indefinitely or annul something that was scheduled
    scratch that meeting--the chair is ill”
    synonyms: call off, cancel, scrub
  11. verb
    remove by erasing or crossing out or as if by drawing a line
    scratch that remark”
    synonyms: excise, expunge, strike
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cancel, delete
    remove or make invisible
  12. noun
    a competitor who has withdrawn from competition
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    type of:
    challenger, competition, competitor, contender, rival
    the contestant you hope to defeat
  13. verb
    gather (money or other resources) together over time
    “they scratched a meager living”
    synonyms: come up, scrape, scrape up
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    types:
    nickel-and-dime
    accumulate gradually
    type of:
    accumulate, amass, collect, compile, hoard, pile up, roll up
    get or gather together
  14. noun
    informal terms for money
    synonyms: boodle, bread, cabbage, clams, dinero, dough, gelt, kale, lettuce, lolly, loot, lucre, moolah, pelf, shekels, simoleons, sugar, wampum
    see moresee less
    type of:
    money
    the most common medium of exchange; functions as legal tender
  15. noun
    dry mash for poultry
    synonyms: chicken feed
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    type of:
    mash
    mixture of ground animal feeds
  16. noun
    poor handwriting
    synonyms: cacography, scrawl, scribble
    see moresee less
    types:
    chicken scratch
    cramped or illegible handwriting
    squiggle
    an illegible scrawl
    type of:
    hand, handwriting, script
    something written by hand
  17. noun
    (golf) a handicap of zero strokes
    “a golfer who plays at scratch should be able to achieve par on a course”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    handicap
    advantage given to a competitor to equalize chances of winning
Word Family