[ skurj ]
See synonyms for scourge on
  1. a whip or lash, especially for the infliction of punishment or torture.

  2. a person or thing that applies or administers punishment or severe criticism.

  1. a cause of affliction or calamity: Disease and famine are scourges of humanity.

verb (used with object),scourged, scourg·ing.
  1. to whip with a scourge; lash.

  2. to punish, chastise, or criticize severely.

Origin of scourge

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English <Anglo-French escorge, derivative of escorgier to whip <Vulgar Latin *excorrigiāre, derivative of Latin corrigia thong, whip (see ex-1); (v.) Middle English <Old French escorgier

Other words for scourge

Other words from scourge

  • scourger, noun
  • scourg·ing·ly, adverb
  • self-scourging, adjective
  • un·scourged, adjective
  • un·scourg·ing, adjective

Words Nearby scourge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scourge in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for scourge


/ (skɜːdʒ) /

  1. a person who harasses, punishes, or causes destruction

  2. a means of inflicting punishment or suffering

  1. a whip used for inflicting punishment or torture

  1. to whip; flog

  2. to punish severely

Origin of scourge

C13: from Anglo-French escorge, from Old French escorgier (unattested) to lash, from es- ex- 1 + Latin corrigia whip

Derived forms of scourge

  • scourger, noun

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