[ skrab-uhl ]
See synonyms for scrabble on
verb (used with object),scrab·bled, scrab·bling.
  1. to scratch or scrape, as with the claws or hands.

  2. to grapple or struggle with or as if with the claws or hands.

  1. to scrawl; scribble.

verb (used without object),scrab·bled, scrab·bling.
  1. to scratch or dig frantically with the hands; claw (often followed by at): scrabbling at a locked door to escape the flames.

  2. to jostle or struggle for possession of something; grab or collect something in a disorderly way; scramble.

  1. a scratching or scraping, as with the claws or hands.

  2. a scrawled or scribbled writing.

  1. a disorderly struggle for possession of something; scramble: After the fumble, there was a scrabble for the football.

Origin of scrabble

1530–40; <Dutch schrabbelen to scratch, frequentative of schrabben to scrape

Other words from scrabble

  • scrabbler, noun

Other definitions for Scrabble (2 of 2)

[ skrab-uhl ]

  1. a brand name for a game combining anagrams and crosswords in which two to four players use counters of various point values to form words on a playing board. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use scrabble in a sentence

  • If you’re tired of playing cards, scrabble, and Monopoly, pull out these beautiful wood dominos to create hours of entertainment for the entire family.

    10 Stocking Stuffers That Don't Suck | Jakob Schiller | December 16, 2020 | Outside Online
  • Now it resembled a grey old heel of cheese, with a little scrabbling in one corner.

    Mushroom Town | Oliver Onions
  • The scrabbling of the hands under the cloth was to smooth out the leaves after it was freed from this covering.

  • The blackness started to reel down, but my reflexes are fast and I made one swift, scrabbling step forward.

    The Door Through Space | Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The fellow uttered a howl as though seared with a hot iron, and scrabbling away from the fire, left the convict free access.

    The Gold Hunter's Adventures | William H. Thomes
  • I say it not in envy, but with the awe of one who has had to scrabble and who sees endless scrabbling ahead.

    Jewel Weed | Alice Ames Winter

British Dictionary definitions for scrabble (1 of 2)


/ (ˈskræbəl) /

  1. (intr; often foll by about or at) to scrape (at) or grope (for), as with hands or claws

  2. to struggle (with)

  1. (intr often foll by for) to struggle to gain possession, esp in a disorderly manner

  2. to scribble

  1. the act or an instance of scrabbling

  2. a scribble

  1. a disorderly struggle

Origin of scrabble

C16: from Middle Dutch shrabbelen, frequentative of shrabben to scrape

British Dictionary definitions for Scrabble (2 of 2)


/ (ˈskræbəl) /

  1. trademark a board game in which words are formed by placing lettered tiles in a pattern similar to a crossword puzzle

Derived forms of Scrabble

  • Scrabbler, 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