verb (used with object), scar·i·fied, scar·i·fy·ing.
to make scratches or superficial incisions in (the skin, a wound, etc.), as in vaccination.
to lacerate by severe criticism.
to loosen (the soil) with a type of cultivator.
to hasten the sprouting of (hard-covered seeds) by making incisions in the seed coats.
to break up (a road surface).
Origin of scarify
1400–50; late Middle English scarifieRelated formsscar·i·fi·er, nounun·scar·i·fied, adjective
< Middle French scarifier
< Late Latin scarīficāre,
alteration of Latin scarīfāre, scarīphāre
to make scratches < Greek skarīphâsthai
to sketch, derivative of skárīphos
stylus; see -ify
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for scarifyblister
Examples from the Web for scarify
Historical Examples of scarify
Sometimes it may be necessary to scarify the gums, or to apply leeches to them.
He bobbed at once, but she hastened to the door to scarify him.
Their mode of obtaining charity was to go barefoot and scarify their heels so that the blood might show.
Perhaps the stinging words of last night had at last sunk deep enough to scarify his self-esteem.
To relieve their wearied legs and feet after long marches, they scarify the former with sharp flints.
British Dictionary definitions for scarify
verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
Derived Formsscarification, nounscarifier, noun
surgery to make tiny punctures or superficial incisions in (the skin or other tissue), as for inoculating
- to break up and loosen (soil) to a shallow depth
- to scratch or abrade the outer surface of (seeds) to increase water absorption or hasten germination
to wound with harsh criticism
Word Origin for scarify
C15: via Old French from Latin scarīfāre to scratch open, from Greek skariphasthai to draw, from skariphos a pencil
verb -fies, -fying or -fied
Derived Formsscarifyingly, adverb
(tr) informal to make scared; frighten
Word Origin for scarify
C18: from scare + -ify
Scarify is sometimes wrongly thought to mean the same as scare: a frightening (not scarifying) film
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for scarify
mid-15c., "make incisions in the bark of a tree," from Middle French scarifier "score, scrape" (leather or hide), 14c., from Late Latin scarificare (see scarification). The sense "cover with scars" (1680s) is a sense-shift from influence of scar (v.). Related: Scarified; scarifier; scarifying.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
To make shallow cuts in the skin, as when vaccinating.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.