Scratch v. t. [imp. & p. p. Scratched p. pr. & vb. n. Scratching.]
1. To rub and tear or mark the surface of with something sharp or ragged; to scrape, roughen, or wound slightly by drawing something pointed or rough across, as the claws, the nails, a pin, or the like.
Small sand-colored stones, so hard as to scratch glass. --Grew.
Be mindful, when invention fails,
To scratch your head, and bite your nails. --Swift.
2. To write or draw hastily or awkwardly. “Scratch out a pamphlet.”
3. To cancel by drawing one or more lines through, as the name of a candidate upon a ballot, or of a horse in a list; hence, to erase; to efface; -- often with out.
4. To dig or excavate with the claws; as, some animals scratch holes, in which they burrow.
To scratch a ticket, to cancel one or more names of candidates on a party ballot; to refuse to vote the party ticket in its entirety. [U. S.]
Scratch, v. i.
1. To use the claws or nails in tearing or in digging; to make scratches.
Dull, tame things, . . . that will neither bite nor scratch. --Dr. H. More.
2. Billiards To score, not by skillful play but by some fortunate chance of the game. [Cant, U. S.]
1. A break in the surface of a thing made by scratching, or by rubbing with anything pointed or rough; a slight wound, mark, furrow, or incision.
The coarse file . . . makes deep scratches in the work. --Moxon.
These nails with scratches deform my breast. --Prior.
God forbid a shallow scratch should drive
The prince of Wales from such a field as this. --Shak.
2. Pugilistic Matches A line across the prize ring; up to which boxers are brought when they join fight; hence, test, trial, or proof of courage; as, to bring to the scratch; to come up to the scratch. [Cant]
3. pl. Far. Minute, but tender and troublesome, excoriations, covered with scabs, upon the heels of horses which have been used where it is very wet or muddy.
4. A kind of wig covering only a portion of the head.
5. Billiards (a) A shot which scores by chance and not as intended by the player; a fluke. [Cant, U. S.] (b) a shot which results in a penalty, such as dropping the cue ball in a pocket without hitting another ball.
6. In various sports, the line from which the start is made, except in the case of contestants receiving a distance handicap.
Scratch cradle. See Cratch cradle, under Cratch.
Scratch grass Bot., a climbing knotweed (Polygonum sagittatum) with a square stem beset with fine recurved prickles along the angles.
Scratch wig. Same as Scratch, 4, above.
start from scratch to start (again) from the very beginning; also, to start without resources.
Scratch, a. Made, done, or happening by chance; arranged with little or no preparation; determined by circumstances; haphazard; as, a scratch team; a scratch crew for a boat race; a scratch shot in billiards. [Slang]
Scratch race, one without restrictions regarding the entrance of competitors; also, one for which the competitors are chosen by lot.
n 1: an abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off [syn: abrasion,
2: a depression scratched or carved into a surface [syn: incision,
prick, slit, dent]
3: informal terms for money [syn: boodle, bread, cabbage,
clams, dinero, dough, gelt, kale, lettuce, lolly,
lucre, loot, moolah, pelf, shekels, simoleons,
4: dry mash for poultry [syn: chicken feed]
5: a harsh noise made by scraping; "the scrape of violin bows
distracted her" [syn: scrape, scraping, scratching]
6: poor handwriting [syn: scribble, scrawl, cacography]
7: an indication of damage [syn: scrape, scar, mark]
v 1: cause friction; "my sweater scratches" [syn: rub, fray,
2: cut the surface of; wear away the surface of [syn: scrape,
3: scrape or rub as if to relieve itching; "Don't scratch your
insect bites!" [syn: rub, itch]