noun, plural scores, score for 11.
- the basic facts, point of progress, etc., regarding a situation: What's the score on Saturday's picnic?
- a successful move, remark, etc.
- a written or printed piece of music with all the vocal and instrumental parts arranged on staves, one under the other.
- the music itself.
- the music played as background to or part of a movie, play, or television presentation.
- a success in finding a willing sexual partner; sexual conquest.
- a purchase or acquisition of illicit drugs, as heroin or cocaine.
- a single payoff obtained through graft by a police officer, especially from a narcotics violator.
- a successful robbery; theft.
- any success, triumph, happy acquisition, gift, or win.
- the victim of a robbery or swindle.
verb (used with object), scored, scor·ing.
- to orchestrate.
- to write out in score.
- to compose the music for (a movie, play, television show, etc.)
- to obtain (a drug) illicitly.
- to steal.
- to acquire; be given.
verb (used without object), scored, scor·ing.
- to succeed in finding a willing sexual partner; have coitus.
- to purchase or obtain drugs illicitly.
- to elicit and accept a bribe.
Origin of score
- the written or printed form of a composition in which the instrumental or vocal parts appear on separate staves vertically arranged on large pages (full score) or in a condensed version, usually for piano (short score) or voices and piano (vocal score)
- the incidental music for a film or play
- the songs, music, etc, for a stage or film musical
- a line marking a division or boundary
- (as modifier)score line
- to avenge a wrong
- to repay a debt
- to set or arrange (a piece of music) for specific instruments or voices
- to write the music for (a film, play, etc)
Word Origin for score
late Old English scoru "twenty," from Old Norse skor "mark, notch, incision; a rift in rock," also, in Icelandic, "twenty," from Proto-Germanic *skura-, from PIE root *(s)ker- "to cut" (see shear).
The connecting notion probably is counting large numbers (of sheep, etc.) with a notch in a stick for each 20. That way of counting, called vigesimalism, also exists in French: In Old French, "twenty" (vint) or a multiple of it could be used as a base, e.g. vint et doze ("32"), dous vinz et diz ("50"). Vigesimalism was or is a feature of Welsh, Irish, Gaelic and Breton (as well as non-IE Basque), and it is speculated that the English and the French picked it up from the Celts. Cf. tally (n.).
The prehistoric sense of the Germanic word, then, likely was "straight mark like a scratch, line drawn by a sharp instrument," but in English this is attested only from c.1400, along with the sense "mark made (on a chalkboard, etc.) to keep count of a customer's drinks in a tavern." This sense was extended by 1670s to "mark made for purpose of recording a point in a game or match," and thus "aggregate of points made by contestants in certain games and matches" (1742, originally in whist).
From the tavern-keeping sense comes the meaning "amount on an innkeeper's bill" (c.1600) and thus the figurative verbal expression settle scores (1775). Meaning "printed piece of music" first recorded 1701, said to be from the practice of connecting related staves by scores of lines. Especially "music composed for a film" (1927). Meaning "act of obtaining narcotic drugs" is by 1951.
Scoreboard is from 1826; score-keeping- from 1905; newspaper sports section score line is from 1965; baseball score-card is from 1877.
"to cut with incisions or notches," c.1400; "to record by means of notches" (late 14c.); see score (n.). Meanings "to keep record of the scores in a game, etc." and "to make or add a point for one's side in a game, etc." both attested from 1742. The slang sense, in reference to men, "achieve intercourse" first recorded 1960. Meaning "to be scorekeeper, to keep the score in a game or contest" is from 1846. In the musical sense from 1839. Related: Scored; scoring.
see box score; know the score; pay off (an old score); settle a score.