verb (used without object), scud·ded, scud·ding.

to run or move quickly or hurriedly.
Nautical. to run before a gale with little or no sail set.
Archery. (of an arrow) to fly too high and wide of the mark.


the act of scudding.
clouds, spray, or mist driven by the wind; a driving shower or gust of wind.
low-drifting clouds appearing beneath a cloud from which precipitation is falling.

Origin of scud

First recorded in 1525–35, scud is from the Middle Low German word schudden to shake



verb (used with object), scud·ded, scud·ding.

to cleanse (a trimmed and roughly depilated skin or hide) of remaining hairs or dirt.


the hairs or dirt removed by scudding.

Origin of scud

First recorded in 1635–45; perhaps to be identified with obsolete scud dirt < ?


or Scud missile



a surface-to-surface missile, especially one deployed on a mobile launcher.

Origin of Scud

the NATO name for a missile developed by the Soviets in the 1960s; probably from scud in the sense “to move quickly” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for scud

fly, run, gust, dart, skim, wind, cloud

Examples from the Web for scud

Contemporary Examples of scud

Historical Examples of scud

  • I never seed a scud on the 'Banks' but 'ut it was allus follered by a fog.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

  • A Manx or Gaelic term for the scud or small clouds that drive with the wind.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • After laying to for three hours they were compelled to scud before the wind.

    Notable Voyagers

    W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith

  • The scud is flying all over us now that we are running before the wind.

    The Ghost Ship

    John C. Hutcheson

  • I should be blinded if I did, or blistered by the “scud” of the angular atoms.

    The Rifle Rangers

    Captain Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for scud


verb scuds, scudding or scudded

(intr) (esp of clouds) to move along swiftly and smoothly
(intr) nautical to run before a gale
(tr) Scot to hit; slap


the act of scudding
  1. a formation of low fractostratus clouds driven by a strong wind beneath rain-bearing clouds
  2. a sudden shower or gust of wind
Scot a slap

Word Origin for scud

C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Norwegian skudda to thrust, Swedish skudda to shake



informal a Soviet-made surface-to-surface missile, originally designed to carry nuclear warheads and with a range of 300 km; later modified to achieve greater range: used by Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War and in the Gulf Wars
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 scud

"to move quickly," 1530s, of uncertain origin, perhaps a variant of Middle English scut "rabbit, rabbit's tail," in reference to its movements (see scut (n.1)), but there are phonetic difficulties. Perhaps rather from a North Sea Germanic source akin to Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schudden "to shake" (see quash). Related: Scudded; scudding. As a noun from c.1600, from the verb. It also was the NATO reporting name for a type of Soviet missile introduced in the 1960s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper