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[skram] /skræm/
verb (used without object), scrammed, scramming. Informal.
to go away; get out (usually used as a command):
I said I was busy, so scram.
Origin of scram1
1925-30; probably shortened form of scramble (but compare German schramm, imperative singular of schrammen to depart)


[skram] /skræm/ Informal.
the rapid shutdown of a nuclear reactor in an emergency.
verb (used with object)
to shut down (a nuclear reactor) rapidly in an emergency.
1945-50; perhaps identical with scram1, though sense development is unclear Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scram
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To the girls she said, “scram, if you want me downstairs in two minutes.”

  • Gibbering, I tried to get away, to flee or scram, but it was too late.

  • The big idea is, can we grab a plane and scram away from this tub?

    Dave Dawson on Guadalcanal Robert Sydney Bowen
  • We've got to get back to the jeep and scram out of here fast.

    The Secret of the Ninth Planet Donald Allen Wollheim
  • "Let's scram before they catch it," Hall said, but he was too late.

    The Five Arrows

    Allan Chase
  • One of the men caught sight of him and said, "Hey kid, scram!"

    The Fourth R George Oliver Smith
  • We ought to abandon the Glory to her place in the sun and scram out of here in the lifeboatsevery last person aboard ship.

    A Place in the Sun C.H. Thames
  • And there was nothing for Sahr to do but "scram," which is a quaint Earth term for making one's departure hurriedly.

  • "Yeah—she'll be here, all right, thanks to you—scram—" answered Evelyn, as he went out the door.

    Hookers Richard F. Mann
British Dictionary definitions for scram


verb scrams, scramming, scrammed
(intransitive; often imperative) (informal) to go away hastily; get out
Word Origin
C20: shortened from scramble


an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor
(of a nuclear reactor) to shut down or be shut down in an emergency
Word Origin
C20: perhaps from scram1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scram

1928, U.S. slang, either a shortened form of scramble (v.) or from German schramm, imperative singular of schrammen "depart." Related: Scrammed; scramming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for scram



: I got ready for a sudden scram


To leave quickly; flee; beat it: Customers scrammed screaming when the trailer went on/ Scram, you kids (1928+)

[fr scramble]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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