- 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
Examples from the Web for scrabbling
He swung into his waistcoat and coat, scrabbling at the buttons in the violence of his emotions.The Octopus
All this scrabbling around, searching everywhere for suitable planets.They Also Serve
Donald E. Westlake
He appeared to be scrabbling about the floor, playing with her foot.Furze the Cruel
When he was gone, I found Jim Edwards scrabbling for his hat where it had dropped over behind the desk.The Million-Dollar Suitcase
There was one expanse that was sheer rock-climbing, flattened like bugs against a wall, scrabbling for hand-holds and footholds.The Planet Savers
Marion Zimmer Bradley
- (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
- trademark a board game in which words are formed by placing lettered tiles in a pattern similar to a crossword puzzle
Word Origin and History for scrabbling
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.).