[ skur-vee ]
/ ˈskɜr vi /


Pathology. a disease marked by swollen and bleeding gums, livid spots on the skin, prostration, etc., due to a diet lacking in vitamin C.

adjective, scur·vi·er, scur·vi·est.

contemptible; despicable; mean: a scurvy trick.

Origin of scurvy

First recorded in 1555–65; scurf + -y1

Related forms

scur·vi·ly, adverbscur·vi·ness, noun

Can be confused

scurfy scurvy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scurvy

British Dictionary definitions for scurvy


/ (ˈskɜːvɪ) /


a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C, characterized by anaemia, spongy gums, bleeding beneath the skin, and (in infants) malformation of bones and teethRelated adjective: scorbutic

adjective -vier or -viest

mean or despicablea scurvy knave

Derived Forms

scurvily, adverbscurviness, noun

Word Origin for scurvy

C16: see scurf
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

Medicine definitions for scurvy


[ skûrvē ]


A disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C and characterized by spongy bleeding gums, bleeding under the skin, and weakness.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for scurvy


[ skûrvē ]

A disease caused by vitamin C deficiency, characterized by bleeding of the gums, rupture of capillaries under the skin, loose teeth, and generalized weakness.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.