verb (1)
scar·​i·​fy | \ˈsker-ə-ˌfī \
scarified; scarifying

Definition of scarify 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make scratches or small cuts in (something, such as the skin) scarify an area for vaccination

2 : to lacerate the feelings of

3 : to break up, loosen, or roughen the surface of (something, such as a field or road)

4 : to cut or soften the wall of (a hard seed) to hasten germination


verb (2)
scarified; scarifying

Definition of scarify (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from scarify

Verb (1)

scarifier \ˈsker-​ə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r \ noun

Verb (2)

scarifyingly \ˈsker-​ə-​ˌfī-​iŋ-​lē \ adverb

First Known Use of scarify

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1785, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scarify

Verb (1)

Middle English scarifien, from Middle French scarefier, from Late Latin scarificare, alteration of Latin scarifare, from Greek skariphasthai to scratch an outline, sketch — more at scribe

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Time Traveler for scarify

The first known use of scarify was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for scarify


transitive verb
scar·​i·​fy | \ˈskar-ə-ˌfī, ˈsker- \
scarified; scarifying

Medical Definition of scarify 

: to make scratches or small cuts in (as the skin) scarify an area for vaccination

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More from Merriam-Webster on scarify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scarify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scarify

Nglish: Translation of scarify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scarify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scarify

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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