[ skrach-iz ]

noun(used with a singular verb)Veterinary Pathology.
  1. 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

First recorded in1605–15; see origin at scratch, -s3

Words Nearby scratches Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scratches in a sentence

  • scratches and flaws in the glass of slide or cover are likewise a common source of confusion to beginners.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • Beastly nuisance; we shall all have to clear out, for I suppose it won't be a mere matter of scratches.

  • A few scratches here and there marred the polish of the frame and one cushion had sustained an ugly rent.

    Dorothy at Skyrie | Evelyn Raymond
  • Dauntlessly, in spite of thorns and the numberless scratches they inflicted, Digby led the way.

    Digby Heathcote | W.H.G. Kingston
  • He looked down at his hand, where two long red scratches oozed a trickle of blood.

    The Medici Boots | Pearl Norton Swet

British Dictionary definitions for scratches


/ (ˈskrætʃɪz) /

  1. (functioning as singular) a disease of horses characterized by dermatitis in the region of the fetlock: Also called: cracked heels, mud fever

Origin of scratches

C16: so called because it makes the pastern appear to be scratched

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