- 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 scoured
There is a large area to be scoured and the amount of time the airplane can spend over its assigned zone is critical.Was MH370 Carrying Killer Cargo?
March 21, 2014
Nasaw has had full access to family documents and scoured the archives.“The Patriarch”: Joseph Kennedy Sr.’s Outsized Life
November 21, 2012
Had Palin scoured a thesaurus, she could not have come up with a more inflammatory phrase.Palin Goes Nuclear With 'Blood Libel' Speech
January 12, 2011
An avid, fearless cyclist, Smith often scoured the flat, sprawling borders of Los Angeles on one of his bicycles.Chasen Murderer's Secret Past
A. L. Bardach
December 15, 2010
Unsure about what to do but leaning toward an abortion, Amy (not her real name) scoured the Internet for abortion services.A New Fight Over Abortion Access
Joyce C. Tang
August 1, 2010
Parties of three and four scoured the woods in all directions.Hetty's Strange History
When I say the rocks here are scoured bare, I mean it literally.The Long Labrador Trail
He felt along it, located the desk he sought for and scoured through it.The Bluff of the Hawk
One person should dry the board with old linen, as fast as the other has scoured off the dirt, and washed away the soda.
Why, then, had not the planes which scoured the region found the survivors?Under Arctic Ice
- 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 scoured
"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).