- a disease of horses marked by dry rifts or chaps that appear on the skin near the fetlock, behind the knee, or in front of the hock.
Origin of scratches
- to break, mar, or mark the surface of by rubbing, scraping, or tearing with something sharp or rough: to scratch one's hand on a nail.
- to dig, scrape, or tear (something) out or off with or as if with the nails, claws, etc.: to scratch the burs off one's coat.
- to rub or scrape slightly, as with the fingernails, to relieve itching.
- to rub or draw along a rough, grating surface: to scratch a match on the sidewalk.
- to erase, cancel, strike out, or eliminate (a name, something written, etc.) by or as if by drawing a line through it (often followed by out): Scratch out the third name on the list.
- to withdraw (an entry) from a race or competition.
- U.S. Politics.
- 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.
- to write or draw by scraping or cutting the lines into a surface: She scratched her initials on the glass.
- to manipulate (a phonograph record) back and forth under the stylus to produce rhythmic sounds.
- to use the nails, claws, etc., for tearing, digging, etc.
- to relieve itching by rubbing or scraping lightly, as with the fingernails.
- to make a slight grating noise, as a pen.
- to earn a living or to manage in any respect with great difficulty: We scratched along that year on very little money.
- to withdraw or be withdrawn from a contest or competition.
- (in certain card games) to make no score; earn no points.
- Billiards, Pool. to make a shot that results in a penalty, especially to pocket the cue ball without hitting the object ball.
- a slight injury, mar, or mark, usually thin and shallow, caused by scratching: three scratches on my leg; a noticeable scratch on the table.
- a rough mark made by a pen, pencil, etc.; scrawl.
- an act of scratching.
- the slight grating sound caused by scratching.
- the starting place, starting time, or status of a competitor in a handicap who has no allowance and no penalty.
- Billiards, Pool.
- a shot resulting in a penalty, especially a pocketing of the cue ball without hitting the object ball.
- a fluke or lucky shot.
- (in certain card games) a score of zero; nothing.
- Baseball. scratch hit.
- scratch wig.
- Slang. money; cash.
- used for hasty writing, notes, etc.: scratch paper.
- without any allowance, penalty, or handicap, as a competitor or contestant.
- Informal. done by or dependent on chance: a scratch shot.
- Informal. gathered hastily and indiscriminately: a scratch crew.
- done or made from scratch: a scratch cake.
- from scratch,
- from the very beginning or starting point.
- from nothing; without resources: After the depression he started another business from scratch.
- up to scratch, in conformity with a certain standard; adequate; satisfactory: The local symphony orchestra has improved this year, but it is still not up to scratch.
Origin of scratch
- Old Scratch; Satan.
Origin of Scratch
Related Wordslaceration, blemish, scrape, rub, graze, scrawl, claw, etch, scribble, pull, withdraw, delete, gash, score, hurt, prick, lacerate, damage, incise, scarify
Examples from the Web for scratches
He says that someone cut the legs of jogger, when no one had, although her legs were covered with scratches.The Myth of the Central Park Five
October 19, 2014
For nationalists who hate gay people, perhaps the parallel should be “When Russia scratches, the world gets scabies.”Kazhakstan Crazies Want Gay DNA Tests
September 15, 2014
A teen swings from the branches and scratches its back against the jungle floor.Can Gorillas Save the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
April 28, 2014
“A couple of them had scratches, a couple had busted eardrums,” Canaday said.Oklahoma Tornado Hero Teacher Anna Canaday: ‘Take Me Instead’
May 23, 2013
While none mentioned any scratches, a few add low battery life to the complaint about the Maps app.Daily Beast Readers Review Apple’s iPhone 5
September 26, 2012
For he was vexed at the scratches he had got in the struggle.Rico and Wiseli
Pennington and Warner both had scratches, but the colonel was unharmed.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
You have nearly reached that point, and you look right cheerfully on your scratches!His Masterpiece
And they saw that his feet were lame and bruised, and his body covered with scratches.Cossack Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
The scratches on his own flesh were not serious, though they nipped a little at first movement.The Fiery Totem
- (functioning as singular) a disease of horses characterized by dermatitis in the region of the fetlockAlso called: cracked heels, mud fever
- to mark or cut (the surface of something) with a rough or sharp instrument
- (often foll by at, out, off, etc) to scrape (the surface of something), as with claws, nails, etc
- to scrape (the surface of the skin) with the nails, as to relieve itching
- to chafe or irritate (a surface, esp the skin)
- to make or cause to make a grating sound; scrape
- (tr sometimes foll by out) to erase by or as if by scraping
- (tr) to write or draw awkwardly
- (intr sometimes foll by along) to earn a living, manage, etc, with difficulty
- to withdraw (an entry) from a race, match, etc
- (intr) billiards snooker
- to make a shot resulting in a penalty
- to make a lucky shot
- (tr) US to cancel (the name of a candidate) from a party ticket in an election
- (intr often foll by for) Australian informal to be struggling or in difficulty, esp in earning a living
- to treat (a subject) superficially
- you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours if you will help me, I will help you
- the act of scratching
- a slight injury
- a mark made by scratching
- a slight grating sound
- (in a handicap sport)
- a competitor or the status of a competitor who has no allowance or receives a penalty
- (as modifier)a scratch player
- the time, initial score, etc, of such a competitor
- 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 withdrawn competitor in a race, etc
- billiards snooker
- a shot that results in a penalty, as when the cue ball enters the pocket
- a lucky shot
- poultry food
- from scratch informal from the very beginning
- up to scratch (usually used with a negative) informal up to standard
- sport (of a team) assembled hastily
- (in a handicap sport) with no allowance or penalty
- informal rough or haphazard
Word Origin and History for scratches
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.
Idioms and Phrases with scratches
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)