verb (used with object)
- to divide (one's vote) though predominantly supporting one political party or faction.
- to strike out or reject a particular name or names on (a party ticket) in voting.
verb (used without object)
- a shot resulting in a penalty, especially a pocketing of the cue ball without hitting the object ball.
- a fluke or lucky shot.
- from the very beginning or starting point.
- from nothing; without resources: After the depression he started another business from scratch.
Origin of scratch
Definition for scratch (2 of 2)
Origin of Scratch
Examples from the Web for scratch
“Scratch a liberal, find a fascist every time,” Woods tweeted in April.How James Woods Became Obama’s Biggest Twitter Troll|Asawin Suebsaeng|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Starting from scratch is never easy—and the team of journalists had serious competitors in Russia's state-owned media.
“In the past, my goal was to have you scratch your head and then maybe nod it,” she says.
“They are basically telling the FSA that they are not part of their plans and they are going to start from scratch,” he said.
Andre Torres, the former editor of Scratch Magazine, which began as an imprint of XXL, remembers similar hostile situations.It Was All a Dream: Drama, Bullshit, and the Rebirth of The Source Magazine|Alex Suskind|October 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Several officers got very sore eyes, and the only thing to do with a scratch was to dab it with iodine at once.A Prisoner in Turkey|John Still
There was a large sand pit in which we could walk about and scratch as we liked.Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales|Hans Christian Andersen
Again the dog barked and put his nose to the ground, while, with his feet, he began to scratch among the leaves.The Broncho Rider Boys with the Texas Rangers|Frank Fowler
Malicorne began to scratch his ear, as he asked, "What time did the king fix for the rendezvous in your apartments?"Louise de la Valliere|Alexandre Dumas, Pere
The judge passed nimbly around the desk and shook the Scratch Hiller warmly by the hand.The Prodigal Judge|Vaughan Kester
British Dictionary definitions for scratch
- to make a shot resulting in a penalty
- to make a lucky shot
- a competitor or the status of a competitor who has no allowance or receives a penalty
- (as modifier)a scratch player
- the line from which competitors start in a race
- (formerly) a line drawn on the floor of a prize ring at which the contestants stood to begin or continue fighting
- a shot that results in a penalty, as when the cue ball enters the pocket
- a lucky shot
Word Origin for scratch
Word Origin and History for scratch (1 of 3)
c.1400, probably a fusion of Middle English scratten and crachen, both meaning "to scratch," both of uncertain origin. Related: Scratched; scratching.
Billiards sense of "to hit the cue ball into a pocket" is first recorded 1909 (also, originally, itch), though earlier it meant "a lucky shot" (1850). Meaning "to withdraw (a horse) from a race" is 1865, from notion of scratching name off list of competitors; used in a non-sporting sense of "cancel a plan, etc." from 1680s. To scratch the surface "make only slight progress in penetrating or understanding" is from 1882. To scratch (one's) head as a gesture of perplexity is recorded from 1712.
Word Origin and History for scratch (1 of 3)
in Old Scratch "the Devil," 1740, from earlier Scrat, from Old Norse skratte "goblin, wizard," a word which was used in late Old English to gloss "hermaphrodite;" probably originally "monster" (cf. Old High German scraz, scrato "satyr, wood demon," German Schratt, Old High German screz "a goblin, imp, dwarf;" borrowed from Germanic into Slavic, e.g. Polish skrzot "a goblin").
Word Origin and History for scratch (2 of 3)
1580s, "slight skin tear produced by a sharp thing," from scratch (v.). Meaning "mark or slight furrow in metal, etc." is from 1660s. American English slang sense of "money" is from 1914, of uncertain signification. Many figurative senses (e.g. up to scratch, originally "ready to meet one's opponent") are from sporting use for "line or mark drawn as a starting place," attested from 1778 (but the earliest use is figurative); meaning "nothing" (as in from scratch) is 1918, generalized from specific 19c. sporting sense of "starting point of a competitor who receives no odds in a handicap match." Sense in billiards is from 1850. Scratch-pad is attested from 1883.
Idioms and Phrases with scratch
In addition to the idioms beginning with scratch
- scratch one's head
- scratch someone's back
- scratch the surface
- from scratch
- up to par (scratch)