- 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 scouring
Hundreds of civilian volunteers were recruited and trained, scouring communities for any evidence of Graham.On U.VA Campus, Grief Mixes With Relief After Discovery of Body
October 20, 2014
McLennan was scouring church land with his metal detector in September when he came across a silver spoon.How To Strike Viking Gold
October 18, 2014
Reporters found that scouring the Internet for remarks made by Ukip members was proving fruitful.Is Britain’s Tea Party Turning Politics Upside Down?
April 30, 2014
She later confessed to poring over botanical volumes in search of suitable poisons and scouring the woods for lethal mushrooms.The Week in Death: Clarissa Dickson Wright, One of ‘Two Fat Ladies’
March 22, 2014
Together with the Colorado and Wyoming National Guards, FEMA was scouring 17 counties across the state for survivors.Colorado Residents Fighting to Save Their Flooded Homes
September 18, 2013
There are so many of us scouring the town every day without getting the smallest job.His Masterpiece
Thereupon they went their way, scouring the fields as far as the road to Mareuil.Fruitfulness
The whole fleet were not scouring the seas at three of the clock this morrow!Clare Avery
Emily Sarah Holt
You'll never catch the rascals by scouring the desert with a handful of men.Tabitha's Vacation
Ruth Alberta Brown
The lady was very particular about the scouring of wainscotings and doors.Mary, Mary
- 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 scouring
"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).