- 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.
- to whip with a scourge; lash.
- to punish, chastise, or criticize severely.
Origin of scourge
SynonymsSee more synonyms for scourge on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scourger
There shall be given for a remedy the city of Claudius, which shall interpose the nurse of the scourger.Old English Chronicles
The convict “scourger” was one of the regular officials attached to every chain gang.
The sentence of the court was carried out by a scourger, sometimes called flagellator, or flogger.The Book of the Bush
Being transported to this country, he was employed as a scourger, and thus trained to cruelty, entered the bush.
If the scourger won't do his duty, tie him up, and give him five-and-twenty for himself.For the Term of His Natural Life
- a person who harasses, punishes, or causes destruction
- a means of inflicting punishment or suffering
- a whip used for inflicting punishment or torture
- to whip; flog
- to punish severely
Word Origin and History for scourger
c.1200, "a whip, lash," from Anglo-French escorge, back-formation from Old French escorgier "to whip," from Vulgar Latin *excorrigiare, from Latin ex- "out, off" (see ex-) + corrigia "thong, shoelace," in this case "whip," probably from a Gaulish word related to Old Irish cuimrech "fetter," from PIE root *reig- "to bind" (see rig (v.)). Figurative use from late 14c. Scourge of God, title given by later generations to Attila the Hun (406-453 C.E.), is attested from late 14c., from Latin flagellum Dei.
c.1300, "to whip," from Old French escorgier and from scourge (n.). Figurative meaning "to afflict" (often for the sake of punishment or purification) is from late 14c. Related: Scourged; scourging.