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[skrach-ee] /ˈskrætʃ i/
adjective, scratchier, scratchiest.
causing or liable to cause a slight grating noise:
a scratchy record.
consisting of or marked by scratches:
a scratchy drawing.
uneven; haphazard:
He plays a scratchy game.
causing itching or other minor irritation of the skin:
a scratchy woolen sweater.
causing or liable to cause a scratch or scratches:
scratchy bushes.
Chiefly British Slang. peevish; spiteful.
Origin of scratchy
First recorded in 1700-10; scratch + -y1
Related forms
scratchily, adverb
scratchiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scratchy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Though the voice was thin and scratchy, the words were clearly audible.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • It was a recording, scratchy, and full of unthinkable distance.

    The Planet Strappers Raymond Zinke Gallun
  • scratchy Wilson's drunk, and has turned loose with both hands.

  • He was precisely the shepherd for the foreground of a scratchy etching.

    Italian Hours Henry James
  • The Vicarage was well enough in its way, but fussy and niggly and scratchy.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
Word Origin and History for scratchy

1710, "affected with 'the scratch,'" a skin disease, from scratch (n.1) + -y (2). Meaning "composed of scratches" is from 1827; that of "grating" is from 1866. Of sounds (especially in reproduction) from 1889. Related: Scratchiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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