a Rugby play in which, typically, three members of each team line up opposite one another with a group of two and a group of three players behind them, making an eight-person, three-two-three formation on each side; the ball is then rolled between the opposing front lines, the players of which stand with arms around a teammate's waist, meeting the opponent shoulder to shoulder, and attempt to kick the ball backward to a teammate.
British. a place or situation of confusion and racket; hubbub.

verb (used without object), scrummed, scrum·ming.

to engage in a scrum.

Also scrummage (for defs 1, 3).

Origin of scrum

First recorded in 1885–90; short for scrummage Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scrum

Contemporary Examples of scrum

Historical Examples of scrum

  • She's a little creature who went down in the scrum and has been kicked about ever since.

  • I suppose I can count for one in the scrum, said the stranger.

    The Message

    Louis Tracy

  • “They were so jolly heavy in the scrum,” said Maurice, one of the forwards.

    The Gold Bat

    P. G. Wodehouse

  • The referee blew his whistle for a scrum, and a certain try was lost.

    The Gold Bat

    P. G. Wodehouse

  • The scrum had formed by now, and further conversation was impossible.

    The White Feather

    P. G. Wodehouse

British Dictionary definitions for scrum



rugby the act or method of restarting play after an infringement when the two opposing packs of forwards group together with heads down and arms interlocked and push to gain ground while the scrum half throws the ball in and the hookers attempt to scoop it out to their own team. A scrum is usually called by the referee (set scrum) but may be formed spontaneously (loose scrum)
informal a disorderly struggle

verb scrums, scrumming or scrummed

(intr usually foll by down) rugby to form a scrum

Word Origin for scrum

C19: shortened from scrummage
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

Word Origin and History for scrum

1888, abbreviation of scrummage, a variant form of scrimmage (n.). Transferred sense of "noisy throng" is from 1950.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper