\ˈskȯr \
plural scores

Definition of score 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 or plural score

a : twenty

b : a group of 20 things often used in combination with a cardinal number fourscore

c : an indefinitely large number

2a : a line (such as a scratch or incision) made with or as if with a sharp instrument

b(1) : a mark used as a starting point or goal

(2) : a mark used for keeping account

3a : an account or reckoning originally kept by making marks on a tally

b : amount due : indebtedness

4 : grudge a score to settle

5a : reason, ground was accepted on the score of high academic achievement

b : subject, topic has nothing to say on that score

6a : the copy of a musical composition in written or printed notation

b : a musical composition specifically : the music for a movie or theatrical production

c : a complete description of a dance composition in choreographic notation

7a : a number that expresses accomplishment (as in a game or test) or excellence (as in quality) either absolutely in points gained or by comparison to a standard

b : an act (such as a goal, run, or touchdown) in any of various games or contests that gains points

8 : success in obtaining something (such as money or drugs) especially through illegal or irregular means

9 : the stark inescapable facts of a situation knows the score


scored; scoring

Definition of score (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to keep a record or account of by or as if by notches on a tally : record

b : to enter in a record

c : to mark with significant lines or notches (as in keeping account)

2 : to mark with lines, grooves, scratches, or notches

3 : berate, scold also : denounce

4a(1) : to make (a score) in a game or contest scored a touchdown scored three points

(2) : to enable (a base runner) to make a score

(3) : to have as a value in a game or contest : count a touchdown scores six points

b(1) : achieve, attain scored a dazzling success

(2) : acquire help a traveler score local drugs— Poitor Koper

(3) : win sense 1 scored free tickets over the radio

5 : to determine the merit of : grade

6a : to write or arrange (music) for a specific performance medium

b : to make an orchestration of

c : to compose a score for (a movie)

intransitive verb

1 : to keep score in a game or contest

2 : to make a score in a game or contest

3a : to gain or have the advantage

b : to be successful: such as

(1) : to succeed in having sexual intercourse

(2) : to manage to obtain illicit drugs

c : rate entry 3

score points

: to gain favor, status, or advantage

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Other Words from score


scorer noun

Examples of score in a Sentence


students with low test scores The film's score is by a famous composer.


She scored twice in the game. Each correct answer scores two points. In American football, a touchdown scores six points. Who's going to score the game? Judges will score the performances based on their artistic and technical features. Which judges are scoring tonight?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For those keeping score at home, the last two launches of Russian crew missions have suffered from quality-control problems that caused a pressure leak and now a rocket to fail. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Scotland’s NIMBY problem, SpaceX test firing, Soyuz mishap," 2 Nov. 2018 That's 45 percent off, for those of you keeping score at home. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Gain an Edge With Gerber's Amazon Sale," 25 Oct. 2018 Fishermen Foragers Home to scores of prehistoric settlement sites, this nearly 100-mile stretch of river is known as the Iron Gates region, named after two dams built decades ago. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Downtown, a $57 million, state-of-the art school of data science will soon open, one of a score of pivotal developments reshaping the city’s core. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "San Antonio, the nation’s fastest-growing city, sees downtown rebound," 23 Oct. 2018 Freedom Mortgage employees keep score of their performance. Annamaria Andriotis, WSJ, "The New Mortgage Kings: They’re Not Banks," 6 Sep. 2018 This case has 18 counts, supported largely by scores of documents. Emily Stewart, Vox, "8 experts on why the Paul Manafort jury doesn’t have a verdict yet — and what it might mean," 19 Aug. 2018 Croatia beat England with a 2-1 score in their 2018 World Cup semi-final match. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Gorillaz, Solomun & More React to Croatia's World Cup Win Over England," 11 July 2018 The good news is a parent can get the federal PLUS loan even with a lower credit score. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Students aren't the only ones crushed by school debt," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here’s how to score a bib—plus four other marathons across the U.S., all great bets for first-timers, that offer easier entry. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "4 Ways to Get Into the NYC Marathon—Plus 4 Marathons That Are Much Easier to Enter," 6 Nov. 2018 Luckily, The Krazy Coupon Lady and The Penny Hoarder have shared the ins and outs of how to score your bird for free using rewards programs or past purchases. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways to Score a Free Turkey for Thanksgiving This Year," 30 Oct. 2018 Jonathan EpsteinCelebrated ExperiencesEpstein knows which of The Torridon’s rooms have the best lake views, and how to score upgrades at Gleneagles, and can sneak you into the top hotels in Edinburgh and London, even at peak times. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 Chromat frequently enlists Discwoman signees or associates, as in Suzi Analogue and Shyboi in recent seasons past, to score their notoriously high energy shows. Vogue, "Meet Mobilegirl, the Producer Behind Chromat’s Aqueous Spring 2019 Soundtrack," 8 Sep. 2018 There have been 23 goals scored in the 90th minute and second-half stoppage time so far in this World Cup, shattering the previous high of 14, set four years ago in Brazil. Steven Goff, Houston Chronicle, "FIFA president: World Cup could expand to 48 teams in 2022, ahead of schedule," 13 July 2018 Only three goals scored during that entire -- that entire semifinal. Fox News, "President Trump puts NATO on notice," 12 July 2018 The Economist and data analytics firm Opta recently did an analysis of all successful World Cup goals scored in penalty shootouts. Umair Irfan, Vox, "World Cup shootouts: why the team that goes first usually wins," 11 July 2018 The Serbian leads the team in goals scored with eight -along with Nemanja Nikolic- and notched three assists thus far in his first MLS season. Juan Pimiento,, "Chicago Fire secure midfielder Katai on a permanent transfer," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'score.' 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 score


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for score


Middle English scor, from Old Norse skor notch, tally, twenty; akin to Old English scieran to cut — more at shear

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Statistics for score

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for score

The first known use of score was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for score



English Language Learners Definition of score

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the number of points, goals, runs, etc., that each player or team has in a game or contest

: the number of points that someone gets for correct answers on a test, exam, etc.

: a document showing all the notes of a piece of music



English Language Learners Definition of score (Entry 2 of 2)

: to get points, goals, runs, etc., in a game or contest

: to be worth (a particular number of points) in a game or contest

: to officially record the number of points, goals, runs, etc., that each player or team gets in a game or contest


\ˈskȯr \

Kids Definition of score

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a record of points made or lost (as in a game)

2 : the number of points earned for correct answers on a test

3 : a group of 20 things : twenty

4 : harm done by someone and kept in mind for later response I have a score to settle with you.

6 : a line (as a scratch) made with or as if with something sharp

7 : ground entry 1 sense 8, reason We were tired but wouldn't leave on that score.

8 : the written or printed form of a musical composition

Other Words from score

scoreless \ -​ləs \ adjective


scored; scoring

Kids Definition of score (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make or cause to make a point or points in a game His brother scored a touchdown.

2 : to cut or mark with a line, scratch, or notch I scored the wood with a knife.

4 : grade entry 2 sense 1, mark My teacher spent the weekend scoring our reports.

5 : to set down in an account : record

6 : to keep the score in a game

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