sca·​brous | \ ˈska-brəs also ˈskā- How to pronounce scabrous (audio) \

Definition of scabrous

1 : difficult, knotty a scabrous problem
2 : rough to the touch: such as
a : having small raised dots, scales, or points a scabrous leaf
b : covered with raised, roughened, or unwholesome patches scabrous paint scabrous skin
3 : dealing with suggestive, indecent, or scandalous themes : salacious also : squalid

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Other Words from scabrous

scabrously adverb
scabrousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scabrous

rough, harsh, uneven, rugged, scabrous mean not smooth or even. rough implies points, bristles, ridges, or projections on the surface. a rough wooden board harsh implies a surface or texture distinctly unpleasant to the touch. a harsh fabric that chafes the skin uneven implies a lack of uniformity in height, breadth, or quality. an old house with uneven floors rugged implies irregularity or roughness of land surface and connotes difficulty of travel. a rugged landscape scabrous implies scaliness or prickliness of surface. a scabrous leaf

Examples of scabrous in a Sentence

a movie with scabrous humor

Recent Examples on the Web

Sometimes scabrous and always irreverent, his cartoons swipe gleefully at disability and other sensitive topics, piercing the movie’s one-day-at-a-time orthodoxy. Gus Van Sant, New York Times, "Review: Joaquin Phoenix Treks the Long Road to Sobriety in ‘Don’t Worry’," 11 July 2018 During that earlier period of tech wealth accumulation known as the dotcom era, the Baffler was a reliable source of scabrous insight into the collective insanity of the times. Stephen Phillips,, "New tech books: ‘Bad Blood,’ ‘Live Work Work Work Die,’ ‘The Efficiency Paradox’," 22 June 2018 Around the same time, his longtime band mate in the scabrous L.A. rock group the Icarus Line, Alvin DeGuzman, was quietly dying of cancer and would succumb just days after this show. August Brown,, "Joe Cardamone of the Icarus Line finds faith in music after a string of tragedies," 20 June 2018 Outside Ebbing, Missouri From writer-director Martin McDonagh, a timely if scabrous story about a small-town woman (Frances McDormand) taunting the cops (Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell) who have failed to solve her daughter's murder., "Movies: New and Noteworthy," 19 Feb. 2018 Nicole Eisenman, the witty and sometimes scabrous New York painter, is represented by a macabre painting of a Passover Seder, in which a young child stabs her gefilte fish with a serial killer’s élan. Jason Farago, New York Times, "A Museum’s Fresh Take on the Whole Megillah," 25 Jan. 2018 Media coverage of the new new left has tended to view predominantly white cultural types — scabrous podcast hosts, brittle little magazines — as its vanguard. Frank Guan, Daily Intelligencer, "Could a Democratic Socialist Actually Win a Spot on City Council?," 5 Nov. 2017 Then again, Becker’s lyrics were as scabrous and sarcastic as Warren Zevon’s, which is the right kind of tonic for a band who painstakingly assembled the drum track for Gaucho’s title tune out of 46 separate takes. Dan Weiss, Billboard, "The 15 Greatest Steely Dan Songs," 3 Sep. 2017 Everyone from presidents and county officials to celebrities and Greek gods was celebrated or excoriated with scabrous glee. Donald Frazier, Washington Post, "M.T. Liggett, who lined a highway with politically provocative art, dies at 86," 26 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scabrous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scabrous

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scabrous

Latin scabr-, scaber rough, scurfy; akin to Latin scabere to scratch — more at scab

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Time Traveler for scabrous

The first known use of scabrous was in 1646

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More Definitions for scabrous



English Language Learners Definition of scabrous

technical : having a rough surface
formal : referring to sex in a rude or shocking way

Comments on scabrous

What made you want to look up scabrous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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