• synonyms


[skab-id, skabd]
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  1. covered with or affected by scabs.
  2. Obsolete. mean or petty.
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Origin of scabbed

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at scab, -ed3
Related formsscab·bed·ness, nounun·scab·bed, adjective


  1. the incrustation that forms over a sore or wound during healing.
  2. Veterinary Pathology. a mangy disease in animals, especially sheep; scabies.Compare itch(def 10).
  3. Plant Pathology.
    1. a disease of plants characterized by crustlike lesions on the affected parts and caused by a fungus or bacterium.
    2. one of these crustlike lesions.
  4. a worker who refuses to join a labor union or to participate in a union strike, who takes a striking worker's place on the job, or the like.
  5. Slang. a rascal or scoundrel.
  6. Metallurgy.
    1. a projection or roughness on an ingot or casting from a defective mold.
    2. a surface defect on an iron or steel piece resulting from the rolling in of scale.
  7. Carpentry. a short, flat piece of wood used for various purposes, as binding two timbers butted together or strengthening a timber at a weak spot.
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verb (used without object), scabbed, scab·bing.
  1. to become covered with a scab.
  2. to act or work as a scab.
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Origin of scab

1200–50; 1800–10 for def 4; Middle English < Old Norse skabb scab, itch; cf. shabby, shave
Related formsscab·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

exfoliate, sliver, blister, trim, pare, scale, chip, drop, shed, slice, scab, desquamate, delaminate

Examples from the Web for scabbed

Historical Examples

  • He was aware, also, of the dirt, which scabbed and crusted everything.

    Local Color

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • It just dribbled over the side of his mouth that was scabbed with purple crust.

    The Jewels of Aptor

    Samuel R. Delany

  • You know as well as I do that the Big Six scabbed on the pressmen.

    Comrade Yetta

    Albert Edwards

  • Working on the roof in the sun, his lips got all scabbed and broken.

  • Anbury causes a scabbed and broken skin, and tubercular growths on the roots and at the base of the bulb.

British Dictionary definitions for scabbed


  1. the dried crusty surface of a healing skin wound or sore
  2. a contagious disease of sheep, a form of mange, caused by a mite (Psoroptes communis)
  3. a fungal disease of plants characterized by crusty spots on the fruits, leaves, etc
  4. derogatory
    1. Also called: blacklega person who refuses to support a trade union's actions, esp one who replaces a worker who is on strike
    2. (as modifier)scab labour
  5. a despicable person
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verb scabs, scabbing or scabbed (intr)
  1. to become covered with a scab
  2. (of a road surface) to become loose so that potholes develop
  3. to replace a striking worker
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Derived Formsscablike, adjective

Word Origin

Old English sceabb; related to Old Norse skabb, Latin scabiēs, Middle Low German schabbe scoundrel, German schäbig shabby
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 scabbed



mid-13c., "skin disease," developed from Old English sceabb "scab, itch" (related to scafan "to shave, scrape, scratch") and from Old Norse skabb "scab, itch," both from Proto-Germanic *skab- "scratch, shave," from PIE *(s)kep- "to cut, scrape, hack" (see scabies). Sense reinforced by cognate Latin scabies "scab, itch, mange" (from scabere "to scratch").

Meaning "crust which forms over a wound or sore" is first attested c.1400. Meaning "strikebreaker" first recorded 1806, from earlier sense of "person who refuses to join a trade union" (1777), probably from meaning "despicable person" (1580s), possibly borrowed in this sense from Middle Dutch.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

scabbed in Medicine


  1. A crust formed from and covering a healing wound.
  2. Scabies or mange in domestic animals or livestock, especially sheep.
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  1. To become covered with scabs or a scab.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

scabbed in Science


  1. A crust that forms over a healing wound, consisting of dried blood, plasma, and other secretions.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

scabbed in Culture


Informally, a worker who stays on the job while others go on strike. Also, a worker brought in to keep a plant operating when its work force is on strike. (See strikebreaker.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.