[ skawr, skohr ]
/ skɔr, skoʊr /
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See synonyms for: score / scored / scores / scoring on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural scores, score for 11.
verb (used with object), scored, scor·ing.
verb (used without object), scored, scor·ing.


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Idioms about score

    pay off / settle a score, to avenge a wrong; retaliate: In the Old West they paid off a score with bullets.

Origin of score

First recorded before 1100; Middle English; late Old English noun scora, score (plural; unattested singular scoru ) “group of twenty” (apparently originally “notch”), from Old Norse skor “notch”; Middle English verb scoren “to incise, mark with lines, tally debts,” from Old Norse skora “to notch, count by tallies”; later verb senses derivative of the noun; akin to shear


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of score?

A score is the tally of points that have been earned by competitors in a game. To score is to add points to this tally during a game. Score also refers to a set of 20 items. Score has many other senses, both as a noun and a verb.

The score of a game or competition is the record of how many points have been earned during the game. A game in which no points are gained at all is referred to as scoreless.

Real-life examples: France won the final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup against Croatia with a score of 4-2. In 2020, the final score of Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers was 31-20.

Used in a sentence: I volunteered to keep track of the score of the children’s baseball game. 

Related to this sense, score means to gain points or otherwise add to a person’s or team’s score during a game. A player that gains points is called a scorer. The person who keeps track of the score is also called a scorer, or more frequently a scorekeeper. A player, team, or maneuver that doesn’t gain any points is referred to as nonscoring.

Real-life examples: Soccer players score goals. Basketball players score baskets. Football players score touchdowns.

Used in a sentence: She scored 50 points by hitting the bullseye. 

Score is also a group or set of 20 items.

Real-life examples: Abraham Lincoln famously said that America was founded “four score and seven years ago” during his Gettysburg Address in 1863. Lincoln was referring to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which occurred 87 (four score plus seven) years prior to Lincoln’s speech.

Used in a sentence: He bought a score of donuts from the bakery.

Where does score come from?

The first records of score come from before the 1100s. The noun ultimately comes from the Old Norse skor, meaning “notch or tally” or “20.” The verb ultimately comes from the Old Norse skora, meaning “to notch” or “to count by tallies.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to score?

  • scoreless (adjective)
  • scorer (noun)
  • nonscoring (adjective)
  • outscore (verb)
  • rescore (verb)
  • unscored (adjective)
  • unscoring (adjective)

What are some synonyms for score?

What are some words that share a root or word element with score


What are some words that often get used in discussing score?

How is score used in real life?

Score is a common word that often refers to point tallies in games or an act of a player earning points.



Try using score!

Is score used correctly in the following sentence?

The soccer game ended with a tied score of 2-2.

How to use score in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for score

/ (skɔː) /


Derived forms of score

scorer, noun

Word Origin for score

Old English scora; related to Old Norse skor notch, tally, twenty
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with score


see box score; know the score; pay off (an old score); settle a score.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.