To scud is to quickly dart or dash, the way clouds scud across the sky on a windy day or a sailboat scuds along the surface of a lake when it finally catches a breeze.

When something scuds, it's often because the wind seems to be blowing it along — so you might watch kites scud over the beach or birds scud from tree to tree. Experts aren't positive about the origins of this word, but one guess connects it to scut, "rabbit" or "rabbit's tail." The speed of something scudding influenced NATO's code name for the Soviet Union's Cold War-era missiles, Scuds.

Definitions of scud
  1. verb
    run or move very quickly or hastily
    synonyms: dart, dash, flash, scoot, shoot
    buck, charge, shoot, shoot down, tear
    move quickly and violently
    see moresee less
    dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity
    type of:
    belt along, bucket along, cannonball along, hasten, hie, hotfoot, pelt along, race, rush, rush along, speed, step on it
    move fast
  2. verb
    run before a gale
    synonyms: rack
    see moresee less
    type of:
    travel on water propelled by wind
  3. noun
    the act of moving along swiftly (as before a gale)
    synonyms: scudding
    see moresee less
    type of:
    hurrying, speed, speeding
    changing location rapidly
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week