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scourge

[ skurj ]
/ skɜrdʒ /
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noun

a whip or lash, especially for the infliction of punishment or torture.
a person or thing that applies or administers punishment or severe criticism.
a cause of affliction or calamity: Disease and famine are scourges of humanity.

verb (used with object), scourged, scourg·ing.

to whip with a scourge; lash.
to punish, chastise, or criticize severely.

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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for scourge

scourge
/ (skɜːdʒ) /

noun

a person who harasses, punishes, or causes destruction
a means of inflicting punishment or suffering
a whip used for inflicting punishment or torture

verb (tr)

to whip; flog
to punish severely
scourger, noun
C13: from Anglo-French escorge, from Old French escorgier (unattested) to lash, from es- ex- 1 + Latin corrigia whip
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
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