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Word of the Day
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Definitions for harum-scarum

  1. reckless; rash; irresponsible: He had a harum-scarum youth.
  2. disorganized; uncontrolled.
  3. recklessly; wildly: He ran harum-scarum all over the place.

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Citations for harum-scarum
... he warn't bad, so to say--only mischeevous. Only just giddy and harum-scarum, you know. He warn't any more responsible than a colt. Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1876
She had been running for four days now, a harum-scarum tumbling flight through passages and tunnels. Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere, 1996
Origin of harum-scarum
1665-1675
Harum-scarum entered English in the late 1600s. The first element of this rhyming compound, harum, is based on the obsolete verb hare meaning "to harass" or on the the verb hare "to run like a hare"; the second element is based on the common verb scare.