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
Origin of Scratch
Related Words for scratchlaceration, blemish, scrape, rub, graze, scrawl, claw, etch, scribble, pull, withdraw, delete, gash, score, hurt, prick, lacerate, damage, incise, scarify
Examples from the Web for scratch
Contemporary Examples of scratch
“Scratch a liberal, find a fascist every time,” Woods tweeted in April.How James Woods Became Obama’s Biggest Twitter Troll
December 31, 2014
Starting from scratch is never easy—and the team of journalists had serious competitors in Russia's state-owned media.Russia’s Freest Website Now Lives in Latvia
November 29, 2014
“In the past, my goal was to have you scratch your head and then maybe nod it,” she says.From Church of Christ to Pansexual Rapper
November 28, 2014
“They are basically telling the FSA that they are not part of their plans and they are going to start from scratch,” he said.No Syrian Rebels Allowed at ISIS War Conference
October 14, 2014
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
October 14, 2014
Historical Examples of scratch
He made of himself but a cock, set for a while on the world's heap to scratch and pick.Weighed and Wanting
Some scratch a little deeper than those who aren't so skilled or so strong.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
She could scratch, kick, and bite—and stab too; but for stabbing she wanted a knife.The Secret Agent
He was furious, and began to scratch the thick wooden posts.
Two horses had been killed under him, and he had not received so much as a 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
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.
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").
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.
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)