American Dictionary of the English Language

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SCRATCH, verb transitive [Latin rado.]

1. To rub and tear the surface of any thing with something sharp or ragged; as, to scratch the cheeks with the nails; to scratch the earth with a rake; to scratch the hands or face by riding or running among briers.

A sort of small sand-colored stones, so hard as to scratch glass.

2. To wound slightly.

3. To rub with the nails.

Be mindful, when invention fails, to scratch your head and bite your nails.

4. To write or draw awkwardly; as, to scratch out a pamphlet. [Not in use.]

5. To dig or excavate with the claws. Some animals scratch holes in which they burrow.

To scratch out, to ease; to rub out; to obliterate.

SCRATCH, verb intransitive To use the claws in tearing the surface. The gallinaceous hen scratches for her chickens.

- Dull tame things that will neither bite nor scratch


1. A rent; a break in the surface of a thing made by scratching, or by rubbing with any thing pointed or ragged; as a scratch on timber or glass.

The coarse file - makes deep scratches in the work.

These nails with scratches shall deform my breast.

2. A slight wound.

Heav'n forbid a shallow scratch should drive the prince of Wales from such a field as this.

3. A kind of wig worn for covering baldness or gray hairs, or for other purpose.