- to scratch or scrape, as with the claws or hands.
- to grapple or struggle with or as if with the claws or hands.
- to scrawl; scribble.
- to scratch or dig frantically with the hands; claw (often followed by at): scrabbling at a locked door to escape the flames.
- to jostle or struggle for possession of something; grab or collect something in a disorderly way; scramble.
- a scratching or scraping, as with the claws or hands.
- a scrawled or scribbled writing.
- a disorderly struggle for possession of something; scramble: After the fumble, there was a scrabble for the football.
Origin of scrabble
Related Words for scrabbledcontend, rush, vie, scurry, jostle, clamber, push, climb, crawl, scribble, inscribe, scratch, dig, rip, poke, slither, drag, wriggle, plod, slide
Examples from the Web for scrabbled
Historical Examples of scrabbled
I tell you, she scrabbled them up pretty quick, and we all helped her.Oldtown Fireside Stories
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Sornal came to the end of the tape, then scrabbled about and found the beginning.Alarm Clock
Everett B. Cole
Then he knocked a glass off the table, and scrabbled for the fragments.Tono Bungay
H. G. Wells
Coughing and choking on what must be his own blood, he scrabbled at the knife and ripped it out.The Sky Is Falling
Lester del Rey
She scrabbled among the papers, and held up the elevation of a strange square building to his startled eyes.Soul of a Bishop
H. G. Wells
- (intr; often foll by about or at) to scrape (at) or grope (for), as with hands or claws
- to struggle (with)
- (intr often foll by for) to struggle to gain possession, esp in a disorderly manner
- to scribble
- the act or an instance of scrabbling
- a scribble
- a disorderly struggle
Word Origin for scrabble
- trademark a board game in which words are formed by placing lettered tiles in a pattern similar to a crossword puzzle
1530s, "to scrawl, scribble," from Dutch schrabbelen, frequentative of schrabben "to scratch," from the same root as scrape (v.). Meaning "to struggle, scramble" first recorded 1630s. Related: Scrabbled; scrabbling.
board game, 1949, proprietary name (registered U.S.), probably from scribble-scrabble "hasty writing" (1580s), a reduplication of scribble (n.).