• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small piece or portion; fragment: a scrap of paper.
  2. scraps,
    1. bits or pieces of food, especially of leftover or discarded food.
    2. the remains of animal fat after the oil has been tried out.
  3. a detached piece of something written or printed: scraps of poetry.
  4. an old, discarded, or rejected item or substance for use in reprocessing or as raw material, as old metal that can be melted and reworked.
  5. chips, cuttings, fragments, or other small pieces of raw material removed, cut away, flaked off, etc., in the process of making or manufacturing an item.
  1. consisting of scraps or fragments.
  2. existing in the form of fragments or remnants of use only for reworking, as metal.
  3. discarded or left over.
verb (used with object), scrapped, scrap·ping.
  1. to make into scraps or scrap; break up: to scrap old cars.
  2. to discard as useless, worthless, or ineffective: He urged that we scrap the old method of teaching mathematics.

Origin of scrap1

1350–1400; Middle English scrappe (noun) < Old Norse skrap, derivative of skrapa to scrape
Related formsscrap·ping·ly, adverb


  1. a fight or quarrel: She got into a scrap with her in-laws.
verb (used without object), scrapped, scrap·ping.
  1. to engage in a fight or quarrel.

Origin of scrap2

First recorded in 1670–80; variant of scrape
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for scrap


  1. a small piece of something larger; fragment
  2. an extract from something written
    1. waste material or used articles, esp metal, often collected and reprocessed
    2. (as modifier)scrap iron
  3. (plural) pieces of discarded food
verb scraps, scrapping or scrapped (tr)
  1. to make into scrap
  2. to discard as useless

Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse skrap; see scrape


  1. a fight or argument
verb scraps, scrapping or scrapped
  1. (intr) to quarrel or fight

Word Origin

C17: perhaps from scrape
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

Word Origin and History for scrap


"small piece," late 14c., from Old Norse skrap "scraps, trifles," from skrapa "to scrape, scratch, cut" (see scrape (v.)). Meaning "remains of metal produced after rolling or casting" is from 1790. Scrap iron first recorded 1794.


"fight," 1846, possibly a variant of scrape (n.1) on the notion of "an abrasive encounter." Weekley and OED suggest obsolete colloquial scrap "scheme, villainy, vile intention" (1670s).


"to fight, brawl, box," 1867, colloquial, from scrap (n.2). Related: Scrapped; scrapping.


"to make into scrap," 1883 (of old locomotives), from scrap (n.1). Related: Scrapped; scrapping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper