- to remove dirt, grease, etc., from or to cleanse or polish by hard rubbing, as with a rough or abrasive material: to scour pots and pans.
- to remove (dirt, grease, etc.) from something by hard rubbing: to scour grease from pots and pans.
- to clear or dig out (a channel, drain, etc.) as by the force of water, by removing debris, etc.
- to purge thoroughly, as an animal.
- to clear or rid of what is undesirable: to scour the nation of spies.
- to remove by or as if by cleansing; get rid of.
- to clean or rid of debris, impurities, etc., by or as if by washing, as cotton or wool.
- Metallurgy. (of the contents of a blast furnace) to rub against and corrode (the refractory lining).
- to rub a surface in order to cleanse or polish it.
- to remove dirt, grease, etc.
- to become clean and shiny.
- to be capable of being cleaned by rubbing: The roasting pan scours easily.
- (of a plow, cultivator, etc.) to pass through the ground without soil clinging to the blade.
- (of a plow, shovel, etc.) to become polished from use.
- the act of scouring.
- the place scoured.
- an apparatus or material used in scouring; scourer: Sand is a good scour.
- the erosive force of moving water, as in a river or sea.
- Usually scours. (used with a singular or plural verb) Veterinary Pathology. diarrhea in horses and cattle caused by intestinal infection.
Origin of scour1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to range over, as in a search: They scoured the countryside for the lost child.
- to run or pass quickly over or along.
- to range about, as in search of something.
- to move rapidly or energetically.
Origin of scour2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scour
A delightful cast battles over a will and a stolen painting as a horde of pseudo-Nazis scour the mountains for fugitives.‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ Review: Wes Anderson’s Best Ever Is a Whimsical Crime Caper
February 6, 2014
Immediately after the attack, Philip used his searchlights to scour the ocean for survivors to rescue.The Grand Old Duke of Edinburgh: Why Everybody Loves Phil
November 23, 2012
Every day, the two men, part of a 25-person outreach force, scour the streets looking for people everyone else wants to ignore.Advocates Reached Out to Ronald Poppo Before He Was Face-Eating Victim
June 4, 2012
Immediately after the attack, Philip used his searchlights to scour the ocean for survivors.12 Juicy Bits From the Prince Philip Biography
November 14, 2011
There have already been two expensive efforts to scour the ocean bed of the South Atlantic since the Airbus A330 disappeared.The 800 Dangerous Airbus Planes in the Sky
March 14, 2010
A fine instrument to scour the country with, when one has a girl on one's arm.The Fortune of the Rougons
Prepare a fine thick lather of soft soap, boiled in soft water; dip a brush in it, and scour the marble well with powder.
But not as a son this time, only as a servant, to scour and scrub to the end of his life.The Christian
Scipio might be incapable of organization, but he certainly could scour and scrub.The Twins of Suffering Creek
Once we're out of here, I'm going to scour New York for him.The Destroyer
Burton Egbert Stevenson
- to clean or polish (a surface) by washing and rubbing, as with an abrasive cloth
- to remove dirt from or have the dirt removed from
- (tr) to clear (a channel) by the force of water; flush
- (tr) to remove by or as if by rubbing
- (intr) (of livestock, esp cattle) to have diarrhoea
- (tr) to cause (livestock) to purge their bowels
- (tr) to wash (wool) to remove wax, suint, and other impurities
- the act of scouring
- the place scoured, esp by running water
- something that scours, such as a cleansing agent
- (often plural) prolonged diarrhoea in livestock, esp cattle
- to range over (territory), as in making a search
- to move swiftly or energetically over (territory)
Word Origin and History for scour
"cleanse by hard rubbing," c.1200, from Middle Dutch scuren, schuren "to polish, to clean," and from Old French escurer, both from Late Latin excurare "clean off," literally "take good care of," from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + curare "care for" (see cure (v.)). Possibly originally a technical term among Flemish workmen in England. Related: Scoured; scouring. As a noun, 1610s, from the verb.
"move quickly in search of something," c.1300, probably from Old Norse skyra "rush in," related to skur "storm, shower, shower of missiles" (see shower (n.)). Perhaps influenced by or blended with Old French escorre "to run out," from Latin excurrere (see excursion). Sense probably influenced by scour (v.1).