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harum-scarum

[ hair-uhm-skair-uhm, har-uhm-skar-uhm ]
/ ˈhɛər əmˈskɛər əm, ˈhær əmˈskær əm /
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adjective
reckless; rash; irresponsible: He had a harum-scarum youth.
disorganized; uncontrolled.
adverb
recklessly; wildly: He ran harum-scarum all over the place.
noun
a reckless person.
reckless or unpredictable behavior or action.
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Origin of harum-scarum

1665–75; earlier harum-starum rhyming compound based on obsolete hare to harass + stare

OTHER WORDS FROM harum-scarum

har·um-scar·um·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use harum-scarum in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for harum-scarum

harum-scarum
/ (ˈhɛərəmˈskɛərəm) /

adjective, adverb
in a reckless way or of a reckless nature
noun
a person who is impetuous or rash

Word Origin for harum-scarum

C17: perhaps from hare (in obsolete sense: harass) + scare, variant of stare 1; compare helter-skelter
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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